Gotham City is a busy place, with a lot going down each and every week. In this monthly column, Joshua Lapin-Bertone helps you stay on top of it all by letting you know what you should be paying attention to within the Bat-Family…and why.

The higher you are, the scarier the fall.

Right now, it’s hard to think of a time when Dick Grayson has been higher. Almost everything in Nightwing’s life is going well. Dick has been focusing on ending homelessness and making Blüdhaven a better place to live, and thanks to the Alfred Pennyworth Foundation, he’s succeeding. Poverty is down and the people in Blüdhaven are flourishing.

On the superteam front, the Justice League disbanded at the end of Dark Crisis, leaving the Titans to take charge. That’s a lot of pressure, but under Dick’s leadership, the Titans have succeeded. In fact, they recently saved the planet during the Beast World storyline. What does a world without a Justice League look like? Thanks to the Titans, it’s a safe place!

Dick is also in a good place with his family. Yes, the Bat-Family recently came to blows during The Gotham War crossover, but as we saw in Nightwing #113, they’re still on good terms. All of the Bat-Family came out to see the city of Blüdhaven honor Dick. And speaking of family, Dick has been connecting with Melinda Zucco, his long-lost sister whose existence he was unaware of until recently.

Dick is also on the verge of getting some much needed closure on the death of his parents. Nightwing #109 ended with Dick obtaining video proof that Tony Zucco was behind their death. To be clear, he’d always known Zucco was behind it, but being able to prove it (and therefore prosecute Zucco) offers a sense of closure. He can finally feel like his parents are avenged.

Finally, Dick’s love life is going well for the first time in a while. Dick and Barbara Gordon are a couple again and none of the usual superhero soap opera stuff is keeping them apart. There are no convoluted love triangles with exes, or contrived situations created to add tension. Dick and Babs are happy and have been for some time. This is something that RARELY happens in superhero romances, and it certainly never happens with Dick Grayson.

I’m just going to point out here that all of this started when Dick Grayson adopted his dog, Haley. Everything is better with dogs.

Everything is going well, which is why it’s so puzzling that Nightwing can’t jump. Yes, the hero who has been leaping from tall heights since grade school is currently afraid to jump. The problem began in Nightwing #107 when Dick found himself crippled with fear as he prepared to jump from a pirate ship. In Nightwing #109, he was forced to leap from a tower to save his ex-girlfriend Bea Bennett.

“I can feel the fear rising in me again,” he thinks. “I don’t know what’s happening to me. There was an accident at the circus when I was a kid. I was afraid of heights for a long time after, and now I’m just as scared.”

Nightwing managed to work through his fear and made the jump to save Bea, but the acrophobia remained. Dick has no trouble leaping into gunfire or battling demons, but he becomes crippled with fear when faced with heights.

This does at least give us an amusing moment in Nightwing #111 when Batman’s preparing to leap from a roof. Dick confesses his recent problem to his mentor, who reacts with understanding and compassion. “We’ll take the stairs,” Batman says.

Hey, at least they’re getting some nice cardio out of it.

Nightwing #114 is the first chapter of “Fallen Grayson,” the epic conclusion to Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s groundbreaking Nightwing run. The book begins with Dick climbing a mountain in the hope that it can cure his acrophobia. Haley is accompanying Dick on this journey, because once again, everything is better with dogs.

I don’t know where Dick’s acrophobia is coming from, but I have my theories. Keep in mind, Tom and Bruno haven’t shared their plans with me, so this guess could be completely off the mark.

I think Dick is afraid of falling, because for the first time in his life, he has something to lose. His city is flourishing, his familiar relationships are closer than ever, and he’s in a healthy romantic relationship. Suddenly, he has a lot on the line. It was easier to blindly leap into an abyss when his life was falling apart and his relationships were in tatters.

But why isn’t he afraid of fighting super-villains or pursuing criminals at breakneck speeds on his bike? Why is it just heights? I believe it’s also tied to a childhood trauma from a fall he took at age 7. In other words, his fear of falling is more deeply rooted than any fear of being shot or getting fried by a demon. Those are fears he could likely work through, but a deep-rooted childhood fear is harder to shake. It didn’t matter before because Dick was cavalier about what happened to himself. However, now that he’s happy, he has more to lose, so the fear becomes more pronounced.

Perhaps that’s what “Fallen Grayson” means. Maybe it’s not the end of Dick’s public success or stature. Perhaps it means Dick simply needs to fall. A fallen Grayson isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unless Tom and Bruno have something else planned for Nightwing, in which case, I’m worried for him. Like I said, he currently has a lot to lose.

Nightwing #114 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo and Adriano Lucas is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.