The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the "Flying Graysons", Richard watches a mafia boss named Tony Zucco kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them. After the tragic murder, Batman (Bruce Wayne) takes Richard (Dick) in as his legal ward (retconned as an adopted son in some cases) and trains him to become his crime-fighting partner Robin. He is written by many authors as the first son of Batman. As well as being Batman's crime-fighting partner, Dick establishes himself as the leader of the Teen Titans, a team of teenage superheroes. As a young man, he retires as Robin and takes on his own superhero identity to assert his independence, becoming Nightwing. As Nightwing, he continues to lead the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. In the first volume of his eponymous series (1996–2009), he becomes the protector of Blüdhaven, Gotham's economically troubled neighboring city, the locale the character is most closely associated with. He has also been depicted as protecting the streets of New York, Chicago, and Gotham City over the years.