Haly's Circus

Haly's Circus
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Detective Comics #38
(April 1940)
Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger
In-story information
Type of business Circus
Base(s) Gotham City
Owner(s) C.C. Haly and Norton Bros
Employee(s) Flying Graysons
Dick Grayson

Haly's Circus is a fictional traveling circus in the DC Comics universe. It was once home to the Flying Graysons, and is currently owned by their son, Dick Grayson. The circus is tied to Grayson's origin and his history as Robin.

Fictional history

Haly's Circus, more completely referred to as C.C. Haly and Norton Bros. Circus, formed by CC Haly and the Norton Brothers. It is a typical travelling circus that has been known to perform in the United States and Europe, and hosts a variety of performers, including acrobats, jugglers, and trained animals. The Circus' most notable performers were the trapeze act known as the Flying Graysons.

The Flying Graysons

Haly's Circus travels into Gotham, where they are set to perform. The ringmaster is confronted by Tony Zucco and Edward Skeevers, who demand protection money from the Circus as well as the use of their trucks to transport drugs. When the ringmaster refuses to give into their threats, Zucco and Skeevers sabotage the trapezes of the Circus' most popular act, the Flying Graysons. This causes the elder Graysons, John and Mary, to plunge to their deaths, leaving their son Dick Grayson orphaned. Bruce Wayne assists the Circus on behalf of Grayson, who he adopts, helping to expose Zucco's part in the tragedy and free the Circus from the threat.

New 52

The circus returns to Gotham City after many years and Dick Grayson, recently returning to the Nightwing identity, decides to visit after many years. After greeting some of his old extended family, including former crush Raya Vestri, he decides to participate in a practice session with the rest of the high wire performers. Later, Raya informs Dick that the two of them need to go to Atlantic City, being called for by Mr. Haly himself. After arriving at a large warehouse containing different props and scenery from the circus, Mr. Haly informs Dick he knew of his identity as Robin and Nightwing, giving him the deed to the circus. Mr. Haly is killed soon after by the killer Saiko, putting the change of ownership into effect, his last words to Dick being, "...answers in the heart..."

While investigating the circus tent for an answer to Mr. Haly's cryptic message, Dick uncovers a black book containing several names, the last being his own. Later, a tribute show to the Flying Graysons is held for the anniversary of the Dick's parents deaths. This is a plot between Saiko, Raya, and Bryan Haly to exact revenge on Dick, ultimately leading to a battle between Nightwing and Saiko in the rafters, the former eventually detonating explosives on the ground to destroy the big top. Dick knocks down the large screen in the middle of the tent to break open the ground and send the flames into the catacombs of Gotham's underground to put it out. Revealed in the New 52 Batman series, Haly's circus had a deal with the Court of Owls, a longtime gang that was ruling Gotham from the shadows for years. Their deal was that Haly's would exhibit their youth to the Court and the gang would choose one to succeed their current Talon. Grayson, as a child, was chosen to become their assassin and was even unknowingly given an electrum alloy tooth with the Court's marking in it. But, after the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne adopted Grayson before he was handed over to the Owls.

Other versions


In the Flashpoint universe, Haley's Circus is home to the Graysons, Boston Brand, Doctor Fate, King Shark, and Rag Doll, among others. The Circus, travelling through Europe and fleeing the war, is attacked by the Amazons who are searching for the Helmet of Nabu. The members of the Circus scatter, and several of them die in the attack or its aftermath.

DC Animated Universe (comics)

Young Justice TV series (comic)

Haly's Circus appears in issue 6 of the Young Justice comics. He was featured in a flashback when Robin recaps his history. Like the comics, Tony Zucco tried to offer protection money to Mr. Haly who denied him. On April 1, 2006 during a trapeze routine without a net, Tony Zucco's men sabotaged the trapeze rig which broke during the act killing Dick's parents, aunt, and cousin while his uncle survived but was paralyzed. When Dick Grayson became Robin for the first time, he helped Batman bring Tony Zucco to justice.

In other media


Batman: The Animated Series

Haly's Circus appears in the Batman: the Animated Series episode "Robin's Reckoning Part 1", which details Robin's origin. Dick Grayson visits the circus again in the episode "Animal Act" after a series of thefts is being committed by circus animals. Dick believes that an old friend that is training the animals to steal, but is later the revealed to be the Mad Hatter using his mind control technology.

Teen Titans

The Grayson's deaths, and by extension the Circus, appear briefly in a flashback in the Teen Titans episode "Haunted".

The Batman

The Circus appears in the The Batman episode "A Matter of Family", which features Grayson's origin.

Young Justice

In the Young Justice episode "Performance," the Team joins the circus undercover to locate a thief stealing weapons technology at each of its stops across Europe; although Robin claims that this was a mission assigned by Batman, he actually came up with it himself to protect Jack Haly, whom King Faraday suspects is involved in the thefts. The Team eventually discovers that Parasite has infiltrated the circus and pulls off the crimes using abilities he steals from the various performers. After Parasite is defeated, Haly reveals that he already recognized Robin as Dick Grayson, and the episode ends with Dick performing one last act on the trapeze before returning home.


Haly's Circus appears in Gotham. In the episode "The Blind Fortune Teller," after a snake dancer at Haly's Circus is murdered, Gordon and Thompkins start investigating suspects. After much investigation, they discover the killer is the snake dancer's psychotic son, Jerome, who claims to have hated her for her insistent "nagging".


Haly's Circus appears in the film Batman Forever showing the origin of Robin. After meeting psychiatrist Dr. Chase Meridian Bruce Wayne invites her to a charity circus event. There, Two-Face and his henchmen storm the event in an attempt to discover Batman's secret identity, and in the process murder The Flying Graysons, a family of acrobats. The youngest member, Dick, survives and throws Two-Face's bomb into the river. Bruce assumes responsibility for Dick and allows him to stay at Wayne Manor. Dick then declares his intention to kill Two-Face and avenge his family's murder, and when he discovers Bruce's secret identity as Batman, he insists on becoming his partner, "Robin".

Video games


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