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I wrote a viral tweet about Nightwing’s butt…and this is my story

I don’t remember when I first became aware of Nightwing’s butt. It’s just one of those things you inherently know as a reader of superhero comics: Batman’s first Robin, Dick Grayson, eventually grew up, claimed the mantle of the crusading vigilante Nightwing, and started breaking criminals with his fists. He also started breaking hearts and self-control with his prodigious backside, likely owing to the fact that he doesn’t have a cape to cover it. Simple.

This is all to say I didn’t think anything of it on Wednesday morning, when one of my favorite comics artists — Nicola Scott — tweeted out this image.

Nightwing's Butt

It is the fourth in a series of fantastic images Scott has done depicting the evolution of DC’s flagship characters over the years, starting with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. These pieces, which honor these characters’ 80th anniversaries, usually end with the current version of the character front and center, smiling…except for Nightwing. In his case, Nicola nodded to the running narrative/joke/fascination online that Nightwing has a nice posterior. It’s a pretty funny touch for us niche readers and long-time fans.

I took the new Nightwing image, paired it with the three pieces she’d done of the other heroes, and sent it out into the world via the Twitter feed of my comics blog/soap box, Comics Bookcase. Then I went about my day.

Cut to 24-odd hours later, Nightwing trending nationwide, a Twitter moment about this, 42K (and counting) retweets, a write-up in Polygon citing my Tweet, and an absolutely unstoppable stream of comments in my notifications about the Bat family backside. What, you may wonder (but probably not), has it been like to be the author of the tweet that exposed (so to speak) Nightwing’s butt to the wider non-comics Internet?

It’s not all glamour and rock and roll, let me tell you. It’s also educational. Here are some key takeaways and things I’ve learned from the replies:

  • The vast majority of people everywhere remember Robin, maaaaaybe know Nightwing, and are definitely shocked that he’s grown up to look this, uh, healthy.
  • People say the English language is withering, but we have more words/phrases for butt than ever before, including wagon, cakes, caked out, double-cheeked out, triple-cheeked out, thicc, got the yammmmmssss, and doing the world strong and dirty like that on a Wednesday afternoon while the sun’s out.
  • The word for butt in Portuguese is bundo, but only for man-butt, apparently.
  • A not insignificant amount of comics readers will look at a tweet that has thousands of comments about Nightwing’s butt, and think, I better let them know I hate the New 52 Superman.
  • One person out there hears Nightwing’s butt in their head while reading comics.
  • I am incapable of muting notifications because it feels like I’m personally getting attention, and I will check my phone compulsively as it comes.
  • At least three people want to be suffocated by Nightwing’s ahem — although, to be fair, this number is presumably higher, but just three people were bold enough to tell me.

Anyway, if you like that image as much as the Internet, you should check out Nicola Scott’s online store. In closing, I leave you all with this, which found its way into my notifications courtesy of @SummerRay.

Nightwing breaks the Internet…

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