Who is the love of Dick Grayson’s life? Although Nightwing’s had an active dating life (as we detailed here), it’s always come down to Batgirl or Starfire. Dick and Kory’s romance has been an iconic staple of the DC Universe, and their relationship has even been referenced in the 2003 Teen Titans animated series and DC Universe’s live-action Titans show. If you’re a shipper for Dick and Kory, and want to dive deeper into their long soap-operatic romance, here are 12 essential Nightwing and Starfire stories.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Meet cute and first kiss
WHERE TO READ IT: 1980’s New Teen Titans #1-2
THE STORY: A mysterious sorcerer named Raven brings together a group of super-powered teenagers, who soon become the New Teen Titans. Robin meets Starfire as she crashes on Earth, hiding out from her alien slavers. The language barrier is an obstacle at first, until the alien princess absorbs the English language by kissing the Boy Wonder. The two were immediately smitten, but romance would have to wait as the group soon found themselves in their first encounter with Deathstroke the Terminator.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Dick rejects Kory
WHERE TO READ IT: 1982’s New Teen Titans #16
THE STORY: After months of flirty encounters, Kory makes her move on Dick, but the Boy Wonder shoots her down. It’s a heartbreaking scene that delays their inevitable romance, and throws Starfire into the arms of another suitor named Franklin. Kory doesn’t know that Franklin is secretly working for the terrorist organization H.I.V.E. and his intentions with her aren’t all that they seem.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: First date
WHERE TO READ IT: 1982’s New Teen Titans #26
THE STORY: This is where “will they or won’t they” becomes “they did!” After a traumatic adventure on Starfire’s home planet Tamaran, Dick finally comes to terms with his feelings for Kory. The legendary Dick/Kory romance finally gets off the ground as the couple head to Gotham City for their first date, supposedly with Alfred as a chaperone. Elsewhere the Titans deal with a drug dealing operation, and have their first encounter with a teenage meta named Terra.
“For Better…For Worse”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Married….to someone else!
WHERE TO READ IT: 1985’s New Teen Titans #14-18
THE STORY: Wedding bells are ringing for Starfire, but Nightwing isn’t the groom! Kory is summoned back to Tamaran by her parents, and Nightwing tags along for the ride, suspicious of their intent. In order to preserve peace on the war-torn planet, Kory’s parents want her to unite with an allied kingdom by marrying Prince Karras. Kory insists the marriage is just one of duty, and doesn’t have to change anything between her and Dick. Nightwing disagrees, and can’t bring himself to continue their relationship. Tears are shed, and hearts are broken as Nightwing departs Tamaran without the love of his life.
“Non Compos Mento”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Back together
WHERE TO READ IT: 1987’s New Teen Titans #34
THE STORY: While dealing with a domestic disturbance, Nightwing comes to realize just how much Starfire means to him. Although she’s still married to Karras, Dick agrees to work through their relationship and the couple reconcile. Meanwhile, the Teen Titans deal with Steve Dayton, whose Mento helmet has caused him to go mad with power.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Shacking up
WHERE TO READ IT: 1988’s New Teen Titans #39
THE STORY: Raven begins to develop romantic feelings for Nightwing, and Starfire takes her on a girls trip to talk things out. Kory helps Raven realize her feelings for Dick were being clouded by her new emotional freedom. Dick finally comes to terms with Kory’s political marriage, and officially moves into Kory’s place.
“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something…Dead”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Almost married
WHERE TO READ IT: New Titans #99-100
THE STORY: When a shapeshifter named Mirage puts a rift in Dick and Kory’s romance, Nightwing proposes marriage in order to salvage the relationship. The wedding soon faces many obstacles as city bureaucrats initially refuse to give Kory a marriage license due to her alien heritage, and Dick learns that Bruce can’t come because of the events of "Knightfall". Dick and Kory soldier on, but their wedding is soon interrupted by an evil version of Raven, who turns the ceremony into a massive heroes vs. villains brawl.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Breaking up
WHERE TO READ IT: New Titans #114
THE STORY: It’s a major turning point for Dick and Kory’s relationship, and for the Titans as a whole. Arsenal has agreed to let the government fund the Titans, causing some of the group’s roster to move on. Nightwing and Starfire, who'd been growing apart since their wrecked wedding, both know their relationship is over and agree to one last date to say goodbye. Kory can’t bring herself to face Dick, and leaves without saying goodbye. This is the end of the whirlwind Dick/Kory romance – for now.
“The Technis Imperative”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Reunited
WHERE TO READ IT: JLA/Titans #1-3
THE STORY: It’s been four years since Dick and Kory’s breakup, and the two haven’t spoken to each other since. Cyborg, who has become corrupted by a planet called Technis, takes over the moon and begins gathering every former member of the Titans. While breaking free from Cyborg’s controlled “dream” world, Dick runs into Kory and the two have an emotional reunion. They agree to put their past behind them and move forward as friends.
“Letting It Go”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Co-working exes who hook up
WHERE TO READ IT: 2004’s Outsiders #16-28
THE STORY: When a future version of Bette Kane tells Kory that Dick needs her, Starfire quits the Teen Titans and joins the Outsiders to help her unraveling ex. Starfire hopes that her calming presence will help the workaholic Dick loosen up, but a series of tragedies push Nightwing further into the abyss. Eventually Nightwing and Starfire wind up in bed, in a scene that pushed the limits at the time due to some pictured contraceptive wrappers.
“I Know Your Heart Because I Know Mine”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Co-working exes who hook up v2.0
WHERE TO READ IT: 2008’s Titans #1-6
THE STORY: Trigon is back, and it’s up to a reunited group of Titans to stop him. Trigon’s children target the team, using their powers to make the group give into their sinful nature. Nightwing and Starfire are targeted by lust, and briefly rekindle their romance. When the dust settles, Dick and Kory wind up in a steamy hot tub together, where Starfire asks Nightwing point blank if he really loves her. Can the Boy Wonder talk his way out of this deathtrap?
“Lovers and Other Dangers”
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Amicable exes
WHERE TO READ IT: Starfire #7-8
THE STORY: The world thinks Dick Grayson is dead, but he’s secretly operating as an agent of Spyral. During a mission in Key West, Agent Grayson finds himself face to face with Kory, who is overjoyed to learn that the love of her life is alive. Kory helps Dick with his mission, with Grayson realizing how much things have really changed between them over the years.
Are you on Team Batgirl? Check back here next week as we give the Dick/Babs relationship the same treatment.
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