Review: Grayson #1
I was a fan of Kyle Higgins’ Nightwing. But in the wake of Forever Evil, Dick Grayson couldn’t be Nightwing anymore, so now he is a secret agent. It goes over about as well as you’d think.
Tim Seely and Tom King spend most of #1 showing readers what Dick Grayson is going to be doing in his new title. This makes Grayson #1 as typical as you can get for a spy comic book. Dick goes in to capture a bad person, little bit of a mixup, and the “covert op” doesn’t end up being so covert as they expected. It’s not a terrible read, but it’s not exactly a great read either. Grayson #1 is just there. DC can’t have Dick diving too deep into the black ops pool or else Batman won’t allow him to work as Nightwing anymore. There is a slight attempt at a hook by the end of the issue, but it doesn’t offer enough incentive for readers to come back other than to see what Dick is up to each month. Dick spying on Spyral for Mr. Malone(the name Batman uses occasionally) tries to add a nice twist to the end but doesn’t land the way Seely and King want. The characterization of Dick is there though. He’s charming, likable, and still the same guy we saw in Nightwing for 30 issues. The little touches of humor helped ease the blandness and show that Dick isn’t going to let the “darker” work he’s in now completely change him. Seely and King clearly know who Dick is as a character, it’s just the situation around him that doesn’t work.
The entire book scream “temporary.” Dick won’t be a spy forever, and I’m sure the book will change names or relaunch once fans are sick of the status quo change. The aspect of Grayson #1 that almost made me laugh was the last panel. Someone ELSE knows Batman’s identity? Maybe this would have been a bigger surprise if Lex Luthor hadn’t just dropped the bomb on Bruce about knowing what he does in his basement, but it just rings cheap cliffhanger. Having Spyral know Batman’s identity is a laughable attempt at keeping this book related to the Batman side of the DC universe. If anything, DC needs more books that don’t relate to the Batman side as that’s been flooding their list of titles lately (with two more titles soon to be released). If Grayson could venture out on it’s own for a bit instead of being tied into Batman, we might have a great series on our hands. For now, I’m going to be passing on picking up issue #2.
Mikel Janin’s artwork is very good in Grayson #1. I like that DC had him do a few issues of Batman: Eternal to show fans that he’s a proper fit for Bat-characters. Dick flows through pages and invokes his acrobatic past. I was a tad confused when Dick threw the fat man off the train, but once I focused on the page it becomes easier to figure out what Janin was trying to accomplish. Dick’s fight with the “fetish man” could have been executed better in the beginning, as I had to read the page a couple of times to figure out what Dick hit in the beginning. While the writing may have some iffy parts, Mikel Janin was a great choice for artist on this title.
Grayson #1 gets 3/5.
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