Dick Grayson is a safety net for everyone else in DC.
Allow me to explain:
So everyone knows how Dick’s parents died: Tony Zucco was a rude jerkface who sabotaged the wires for the Flying Graysons’ trapeze act, the ropes snapped, they fell to their deaths right in front of poor baby Dick’s teeny little eight year-old eyes, we all know the story. But the thing about this situation is that most acrobats would use a safety net in case they fell. The Flying Graysons, however, chose to do that particular act without a net in order to create more excitement. So they died because there was no one to catch them. Dick’s family died because they had no safety net.
Cut to a little over a decade later, and Dick is Nightwing. He’s been with Batman, he’s been a member of several teams, and he’s met so many other superheroes in the DC universe that practically everyone is a friend of Nightwing. He has helped nearly everybody at some point or other, so he’s known for lending a helping hand to anyone who asks. Out of all the many, many, many superheroes in the universe, Dick himself is known as the one any person can go to for help no matter what. There’s never any doubt when it comes to Dick. He will always and without question be there for anyone who needs him. He’s their rock.
In fact, Dick is probably one of the only characters besides a few prominent heroes like Batman and Superman who everyone can rely on. Everyone has their own reputations, whether it be a good or a bad one. Bruce’s is being dark and broody, but Dick’s is being trustworthy. Everyone can vouch for him. Dick can always be trusted, no matter what. It even says it right here:
And in this panel too, Superman tells Dick that he is the single person who in every place in the multiverse can never be corrupted:
See? Dick is one of the only guys whom every single hero knows he/she can trust and that this is something that will never change. Because Dick is good. Dick will never let anyone down or betray them, it’s just not in his DNA. If anyone is ever in need of help, then you can bet your little tush that Dick Grayson will answer the call, no matter what it costs him. He saves everyone who needs it and is willing to catch them when they fall. Like a safety net. Dick catches people. That is his legacy. He couldn’t save his parents from hitting the ground, but you can trust that he will bust his butt and try his hardest to ensure that from now on he will keep that from happening to anyone else.
And ever since the Flying Graysons fell, Dick kind of has a thing with falling. It’s a conquered fear, one of which he confronts every day as he soars above cities and saves those who can’t save themselves. But he can’t stand the thought of falling without a net to catch you, so subconsciously that is the role he fills. He has become a metaphor for DC’s safety net, as in he is the one character who everyone can trust to save them, whether they be civilians or other heroes. They can always trust that they can go to him for help when they need it, and Dick in turn will always be ready to save them. He is the one holding his arms out, ready to catch people when they fall and support them for as long as they need him to. He refuses to let anyone down. Dick is DC’s rock, the one column that will never topple over no matter how hard you try. He is a safety net, prepared to catch people when they fall and ready to help them to fly again. Dick’s parents had no safety net, so Dick is going to make sure no one else will have to be without one as long as he’s there. And that my friends, is my epiphany of the day.
Headcanon that the batkids hide under Bruce’s cape ALL the time. When they get cold on patrol, when they’re scared of a particularly creepy villain, when they get tired and need a warm, dark place to hide, they can always be found in Bruce’s cape, hanging onto his back like a koala. One time Hal and Barry were at the watchtower just hanging out when they saw something move under Batman’s cape. Assuming it was an alien parasite out to kill the dark knight by sucking his brains out, Barry pulled off the cape to reveal not one, not two, but three of Bruce’s kids huddled under there playing a game of Uno. It was a mystifying experience.