They totally went there.

And why not? We’ve never really known Richard Grayson have we? What was a “Robin” anyway? Someone who ate worms for a power? And now he’s a super spy. With a very catchy slogan.

The new Grayson debuts next week from Tim Seeley and Mikael Janin.


  1. The benefits of ad blocking. As for DC’s problem, it would be so much simpler to just start calling him “Rick” but comics are incapable of that for some reason.

  2. Oh man, I got such douchechills when I saw this ad. It’s not that it’s inappropriate but because it’s the type of double-entendre dick joke my dad might make at Thanksgiving or something.

    Imagine the male version of Amy Poehler’s cool-mom character from Mean Girls and that’s exactly who I imagine is running this campaign.

  3. I wish this was a penis joke, because taunting their (mostly male, predominantly straight, largely insecure) readers that they are insufficiently familiar with penises would be just a little bit homo-edgy. But sometimes a “dick” is not a cigar-(shaped organ).

  4. It’s totally a dick joke. It’s a double-entendre.
    Yes, it is true: “You don’t know dick” does mean “you don’t know anything.”
    It also invokes penis, tho. That’s the etymology. It means both things.
    Actually, this is a triple entendre, because it’s also his name, but DC definitely put a “DICK” in big bold letters to catch your attention. Dick meaning “cock,” even tho once you read it you get another message as well. It’s three messages in one,
    but it’s totally a dick joke.
    In fact, I haven’t looked into the etymology, but I’m pretty confident that the phrase “you don’t know dick” evolved from “dick” as “penis” but also “nothing.”
    Just as “bullshit” means “nonsense” but it also means the feces of bulls. When I say “that’s bullshit” I am saying both “that is nonsense” and “that is equivalent to the feces of bulls”

  5. During a call with a DC rep who was filling in for my regular guy, I noted (as we went over the trades I had sold that week) that my female readers really responded to the Nightwing book, and I was always selling through the collected editions. He chuckled to himself and said, “Yeeeaaaaah, ladies sure do love Dick.”

    You can argue that the entendre wasn’t intended, but I can guarantee you, it was part of the conversation, one that they shrugged off, regardless of whether or not it was intended as such or not.

  6. If “you don’t know Dick” is a dick joke, then it has to be explained to me, because Richard Grayson’s had a lot of Dick (as in penis) jokes made about his name, and that’s not one of them. It doesn’t bring to mind male genitalia like a dick joke would.

  7. Industry insiders are reporting that the tagline they used won out at the last minute over “You Think You Know Nightwing…You Don’t Know How to Handle a Penis”

    “Put Nightwing Inside You” was a distant 3rd.

    What’s funny about this is that the whole reason Dick Grayson/Robin came to existence was in an awkward attempt to make Batman not look gay. Robin just keeps throwing salt on Batman’s game no matter how far away he is!

  8. No one’s pretending it’s not meant to be smutty. In the context of a dirty joke, it just doesn’t fit. Damn, that could be taken as double entendre.

  9. I’m not defending DC..I really don’t care about their lame comics or ads, but..
    If someone said: “you don’t know shit?” would that be considered a “poop joke”? I think that’s how they meant it.. As in “you don’t know squat.”.
    I don’t see how this is a penis joke (or double entendre). And isn’t Dick Grayson also a detective/P.I (IDK) of sorts? Could it be a ‘detective joke’?
    Rorschach test much?

  10. Yes, dick is also slang for detective, but that’s stretching if it was a detective joke. I do think it was a way of saying “you don’t know shit”

  11. That’s a cool ad. And funny. I like the double meaning in the ad as well. Whole thing definitely gets your attention. Well done, DC.

  12. Yes, not quite a penis joke, but definitely meant to be dirty, as “You don’t know Dick” is a not uncommon variation on “You don’t know shit”, with either meant in their swear word context. But regardless of that, while not exactly grammatically incorrect, it is poorly written. It would read better as “IF you think you know Nightwing, you don’t know Dick.” Or alternatively, “You think you know Nightwing, BUT you don’t know Dick,” which still sounds smutty but more clearly places the emphasis on knowing the costumed character but not knowing the man behind it. Clearly this younger generation of ad copy men aren’t schooled in hooking up words and phrases and clauses.

  13. As several sharp-eyed commenters have noted, the noun “dick” has multiple denotative meanings (detectictive, penis, Master Grayson, nothing (here meaning a lack, as opposed to meaning nothing at all, as in a lack of denotative meaning)). At issue is connotative meaning, or the question of which meaning the reader is to infer from the ad. Bound up in the answer to this question are matters of copy writer intention, implied authorship, and of course, implied read (what rhetorical critic Ed Black called second persona). This thread speaks to wonders of polysemy, and a robust tradition of folk linguistics in North American comics fandom.

  14. When I first saw this ad I thought they had given Dick salt & pepper. On my second viewing I realized that dash created a visual trick on my eyes. I got really excited for a second that they were aging Dick faster than they were Bruce.

  15. What are DC’s readers “largely insecure” about? That’s a pretty broad stroke. I’m not a fan of what DC has done with the New 52 (and I think their new ad campaign is asinine) but bash the company, not the people who read the comics.

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