Out of all the titles DC has announced this year, it’d be a safe bet to put Grayson at the top of nearly everybody’s most highly anticipated list. In the wake of Forever Evil, Dick Grayson was revealed to be Nightwing to entire the world and that pretty much ended his whole secret identity thing. Plus, the series ended with everyone thinking the guy was dead.
So what happens when you have a (not quite) dead protagonist with a foiled secret identity? Make him a secret agent! So… yeah, kind of a big turnaround. Grayson could easily go wrong… or just be crazy enough to work. Is it good?
Grayson #1 (DC Comics)
Dick Grayson is a man on a mission: a mission from the enigmatic secret agency Spyral to be exact. Dick jumps aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway, looking for a man by the name of Ninel Dubov. Aided by Agent Helena Bertinelli, his objective is to capture Dubov and take him back to HQ. However, Dick and Helena aren’t the only ones after Dubov…
But first, he’ll spill his expensive wine all over a woman!
Grayson #1 jumps straight into the action right off the bat (pun not intended). There are several storylines brewing in the background with Dick, Spyral itself, Midnighter and the group he is working for, and a few more that offer a lot of potential. It’s all really good stuff, along with the main story itself that hopefully paints a good picture for what the entire series will be like. The issue was exciting, entertaining, quite funny at points, very action packed, used Grant Morrison’s story elements quite well, and was incredibly upbeat. Outside of Harley Quinn and Justice League United, it’s so rare to have a comic from DC be upbeat and happy, while also being so unique. This is just what the company needs right now.
Dick Grayson is fantastic and there’s no need to freak out that Dick Grayson is using guns or killing people like the internet speculated. The man is perfectly in character; upbeat, energetic, likeable, and facing danger head on without fear.
As for the whole gun thing, the most he ever used a gun in this issue was to knock someone out (in the coolest way possible). Helena Bertinelli was also enjoyable, being incredibly competent and a bit on the sarcastic side. She also laid it on quite thick with the flirty behavior with Grayson, but given her demeanor and the whole book itself, she’s probably up to something. The rest of the characters were fine as well(I don’t remember a lot about Spyral honestly), being quite memorable in their introduction and personalities. Overall, it’s looking like the book is off to a good start with its cast and I’m hoping to see some more development with them as time goes on.
I’m perfectly charming dammit!
The rest of Tim Seeley and Tom King’s writing was very good overall. The pacing was tight; the dialogue was really great; the small references to the past; the clever use of Morrison’s elements; the witty humor, and the sometimes zany nature of some of the story really gives the book its own unique flavor.
If there was a problem with the story, it would be the fact that the comic just drops you into the midst of thins with very little context for what is happening. That is, if you haven’t read or followed along with Forever Evil, Batman Inc., or the last issue of Nightwing — you will not know a lot of how the characters got here, who everyone is, and such. It’s probably not the best issue to automatically jump into if you don’t what has been going on with Grayson’s recent history, in other words.
The artwork by Mike Janin is simply fantastic and really brings out the best in the book. The characters all look great, full of life and feature a range of great expressions. The layouts look amazing, making for some enthralling imagery and aiding perfectly with the action sequences. A lot of points also have to be given to colorist Jeromy Cox for making many of the panels shine with eye-popping colors, shades, and tones. Enough talk: you have to see the artwork for yourself to truly admire it.
Oh man, I’m getting dizzy just looking at it.
Is It Good?
Grayson #1 is easily one of the best debuts from DC Comics in a long time; the artwork is pretty and the contents therein shine with a very unique flavor that separates itself from most books the company is putting out.
Besides that, the story and writing here are excellent, the characterization is wonderful, and the artwork is fantastic from beginning to end. If you have been feeling conflicted with what DC has been doing recently, specifically with Dick Grayson, put those fears aside and jump on into Grayson. You are in for one hell of a ride that shouldn’t be missed.