As the holidays arrive and the year comes to a close, we thought we’d take a look back at 2013 and commemorate some of the moments that really stood out in the world of DC Entertainment in a two-week series we’re calling “Ten Moments that Mattered.” Some of these moments were happy. Some were sad. They played out in the pages of our comics, on the big and small screen and in the halls of our office. However, all of them made a profound difference in the world of DC Comics and in the hearts and minds of our fans. 2013 was a big year for us, but even in a big year, not all moments are created equal. Here are ten that mattered…

2013 was a good year for Nightwing fans. But man, was it a bad year for Nightwing.

The devastating loss of a young ally, the continued estrangement from Batman, the realization that the man who killed his parents was still alive… All of it took its toll on the young hero. However, none of it could compare to what Dick Grayson has gone through in the pages of Forever Evil.

No hero has paid a higher price for the Justice League’s failure to stop the Crime Syndicate than Dick. Captured early on, Dick was tormented and tortured before being unmasked in front of the entire world at the end of Forever Evil #1. At this point in the storyline, survival for Nightwing isn’t guaranteed, and even if it is—what’s next? He can’t go back to fighting crime now that everyone knows who he is and how to hurt him. He can’t be seen with friends and allies like Bruce, Tim and Barbara if he wants their identities to remain safe. He can’t enter into a relationship without instantly putting that person at risk.

This is a redefining moment for the character, promising to take Dick Grayson and the role of Nightwing in new, hitherto unseen directions in 2014. But the effects of the hero’s public unmasking could be felt well beyond Nightwing’s comic and the rest of the Bat-books. After all, if the only thing standing between success and tragic failure for most super heroes is a small, easily removed mask…then most super heroes are vulnerable.

Be sure to check again tomorrow for another moment that mattered in 2013.