Nightwing first appears called aboard the Justice League's Watchtower by Wonder Woman. He is silent throughout her speech, only exchanging a single glance with Raven after Wonder Woman mentions fallen heroes who did not survive Metropolis's destruction. He is next seen among the gathered heroes outside the villain's bar, and later when Superman rescues the Kents.
Nightwing spars with Robin in the Batcave. He chides the young teen after he bests him, pointing out Damian's main flaws: an intent to kill and leaving his legs open to attack. Irritated by Nightwing's critiques, Damian throws one of his batons at his predecessor's head, only for Superman to suddenly appear and catch it. Nightwing thanks Superman for his assistance, but comments that he saw Damian's cheap attack coming. He pointed Superman towards Batman's location at the main computer, privately taking notice of the Man of Steel's unease. Dick and Damian are next seen secretly observing Bruce and Clark's argument from a cliff overlooking the computer.
Nightwing is alongside his mentor Batman and Robin, watching Superman's broadcast to Gotham about his intentions to remove the dangerous inmates from Arkham Asylum. While Batman orders Robin to ready the Bat-Plane, Dick continues to watch the broadcast. After hearing Superman's intentions for the asylum, he utters a shocked exclamation before racing after Batman to the plane, where he catches Damian's sudden revelation that he agrees with what Superman is doing. After hearing Damian express a desire to help The Man of Steel burn Arkham to the ground, Dick quips, "Damian, you're thirteen years old. How is it that you're the darkest thing in this cave?"
Nightwing and Batman leave the cave in the plane, leaving Damian behind. As they race to Arkham, Dick asks if Bruce can see Damian's point, and when Batman doesn't respond, Dick comments on how annoying it is when he stays quiet. Bruce only responds that Dick was never as stubborn as his son, with Nightwing retorting, "For someone to be that stubborn, they have to be directly related to you." Batman asks Nightwing if he understands why they can't let Superman do this and while Dick agrees, though he adds, "You've had way longer to indoctrinate me." Before Bruce can reprimand him, Nightwing assures Bruce he understands and the two continue for the Asylum.
At Arkham Asylum, Nightwing is seen by Batman with his escrima drawn and in his battle stance as they confront the Justice League, with Damian among the latter's ranks. Dick and Damian argue over his sudden side switch while the heroes debate and argue as well. After Zsasz and the Mad Hatter are freed from their cells by Cyborg and carted off to an unknown but secure location far from Gotham, Batman activates a virus he had uploaded into Cyborg after he begins to threaten Riddler. Wonder Woman begs him to stop, but it is Nightwing who deactivates the virus as he tries to calm everyone down. Unfortunately, things only get worse as an irate Cyborg moves to attack Batman, only to be stopped by Green Arrow's sudden appearance.
The situation goes completely out of control when Harley Quinn suddenly announces her takeover of the Asylum by freeing all the inmates to attack the heroes. As the Asylum trembles, Solomon Grundy rises up and snatches Robin, dragging him underground. Nightwing follows Superman and Wonder Woman after the abomination.
When Wonder Woman's initial attack is easily thwarted by Grundy, Nightwing tells Superman that he doesn't have to hold back against Cyrus Gold, as he is both undead and capable of regenerating in Slaughter Swamp once "killed". Taking Nightwing's advice, Superman goes all-out on Grundy, cutting off the hand holding Robin with his heat vision and then ramming himself through the monster's chest.
After Grundy is down, Nightwing pries the zombie's massive fingers off of Robin's head. When Damian protests that he had the situation under control, Dick takes a jab at his 'control' when Batman descends in front of them. When he asks Robin if he is okay, Nightwing responds for him. When Batman explains that he intends to use explosives to stop Grundy before he brings the Asylum down, Nightwing points out, "I don't think there's anything really left of Grundy." On cue, the zombie rises back up - on Batman's orders, Nightwing and Robin return to the upper level of the Asylum to round up the escaped inmates while their mentor battles Grundy.
While Nightwing takes out Calendar Man and several other inmates, Robin furiously attacks the Riddler, beating the man into submission and then some. Nightwing orders him to stop, and reminds him that "Robin doesn't beat people once they're down!" Nearing the end of his patience, Damian screams, "You're not Robin anymore! Stop telling me what to do!" and throws one of his kali sticks at Nightwing. Unlike before, Dick is unprepared for the attack and struck in the head. Dazed, he stumbles and falls onto his back, fatally breaking his neck when he lands on a piece of debris.
Nightwing's sudden death horrifies all the heroes and many of the inmates. Batman himself is utterly stunned, then outraged to the point of shoving his own son aside and ignoring his protests and apologies. Several heroes and even some inmates bow their heads out of respect for Dick's death as a despondent Batman carries his body out of the Asylum and into the rainy night. As he does, Bruce thinks to himself, "My son is dead."
Dick's death has a major impact on Batman, with Bruce refusing to call Damian his son from that point on and going so far as to punch a practice pole until his knuckles bleed in mourning. In turn, Damian cut ties with his father and embraced his position as a member of the Justice League.
Though long deceased, Dick Grayson's picture shows up on Barbara Gordon's picture slide in the Insurgency's hideout, and Clayface briefly takes his form to torment Oracle with on Superman's orders.
Dick is resurrected by the goddess Rama Kushna at a fading Boston Brand's request and tasked with uncovering the impostor Spectre's true identity. To accomplish this, Dick is given Deadman's powers and title. Brand's information leads to Grayson infiltrating Arkham Asylum, where he finds the original host of the Spectre, Jim Corrigan in a straitjacket with a curse akin to Joker gas. Though insane, Corrigan is able to reveal the cause, Mister Mxyzptlk, who attacked and defeated him. Dick later leaves to inform Batman of this before he flees to the House of Mystery. When Trigon and Mxypzptlk's fight drags on to both the House of Mystery and the House of Secrets, Dick leaves to bring in Poison Ivy to try and help Bruce, and he possesses Billy Batson in order to stop him from attacking Bruce. After a brief talk, Dick thanks Bruce for being his father and asks him to knock out Batson before he leaves the boy's body. Later on, however, Trigon and Mxyzptlk's fight begins distorting the entire universe, cutting of power sources for many of the combatants, and causing the rest to begin fading into oblivion. While Flash is able to transports the heroes in both of the houses, they are all powerless to stop the fight between the two. Dick arrives in the House of Secrets to try and devise a new plan. Dick initially volunteers to try and possess one of the two magical beings, but John Constantine immediately shoots off the idea as both were too powerful for him. Instead, they choose to use the energy from Shazam's lightning and Doctor Fate's guidance to transport Trigon and Mxyzptlk to the Void, where even they cannot escape. As he arrives to the House of Mystery, Dick immediately stops Wonder Woman from returning Raven to her father, as doing so will already be too late to stop the fight. He then implores Billy to leave the house and join Doctor Fate to stop the two titans. Before departing, Damian attempts to apologize to Dick for causing his death, but Dick immediately assures Damian that he doesn't hold him responsible for his demise. The plan succeeds, and everyone is sent back to the real world.
Dick continues to monitor Damian after the clash at the magical world, still concerned over the youth's inner doubts about himself. On one occasion, Damian made a lone assault at a warehouse in Bludhaven containing multiple villains released by Plastic Man. Hopelessly outnumbered, Dick eventually possesses Bronze Tiger as Damian loses consciousness, and he defeats the remainder of the hiding fugitives before making a distress call to Cyborg to pick up Damian.
After saving Damian, Dick leaves his Nightwing costume to Damian as a gift to help him conquer his doubts.