Art by: Mikel Janin and Jeremy Cox
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 24, 2015
To say I'm a huge fan of Grayson is an understatement. It is one of my favorite books and this is coming from someone who was devastated when Nightwing was canceled, but I'm not going to use this intro to continue begging Dick Grayson fans to give this book a try. That ship has sailed and if you haven't jumped on this book by now, it's your loss. Of course, most of the returning books have used this June restart to provide easy jumping on points for new readers. Tom King and Tim Seeley don't play that here. They assume you have read the previous eight issues and don't look back (actually, they look back a whole bunch). Sure, there are some changes, but that's for the actual review. So...let's get going, shall we?
The book opens by getting the whole Batman situation out of the way, when Dick (or Bird Watcher) calls Mr. Malone and gets no answer. While the end of this scene felt a little off, Dick's desperation and knowledge of the truth still got to me. I'm sure this isn't the last we see of this and I can't wait to see more. We then dive head first into the spy action this book does so well.
The rest of the issue is a mix of "then and now" scenes and while the "now" is brand new, the "then" should be familiar to fans of this book. I will admit that it took me two readings to fully wrap my head around what I was seeing, but once I did, I realized how cool it was. More of that in a minute, because first I want to talk about the "now".
If you read the awesome sneak peek last month , you will already know that Helena has become head of Spyral. She introduces herself this month by going a step further and declaring "I am Spyral" to a mysterious bunch who seem to be a checks and balances committee for spies. It's kind of a gentleman's club and they are pissed that someone is not playing by the rules. That someone really seems to be Dick Grayson.
This has to do with the "then" part. It seems that someone has been killing spies during every Spyral mission. Every one of Dick's Spyral missions. We get to see them and fans will certainly recognize the setting of each. It's such a cool shoutout and really does point the finger at Dick.
Meanwhile, Dick is on a cool mission to retrieve (steal!) a kryptonite necklace from a Duchess in Spain. He's with Agent 1 and if you like Dick Grayson, you will love this scene. Dick is cool, suave, funny and flirty. Seriously, this might be the best representation of Dick in a long time, maybe ever. While he gets the job done, the "then and now" come crashing down around him and we are left with a cliffhanger that really has me wondering what we'll get next month.
I really enjoyed this issue. I was already loving Helena in this book and having her in charge feels right. I want to see how far her feelings for Dick sway her decisions and I think we will see that right away. Of course Dick is the main attraction and Tom King doesn't disappoint. Like I said above, this issue has one of the best scenes of Dick being Dick that I've read. Finally, there is the mysterious organization we get a peek at. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them and I'm hoping they are the main villain of this book going forward. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.
Mikel Janin's art has been great since the start of this book and this issue is no exception. It's not just his art, but his awesome panel layouts and while this issue is more laid-back in that department, it's still a bad ass looking issue. Kudos also go out to colorist Jeremy Cox who kicks ass as well.
Bits and Pieces:
I am a huge Grayson fan and this issue isn't changing that at all. While it may not be a great jumping on point, it was pure gold for returning fans. The story was a great mix of past and present and the art was it's usual greatness. The issue has so many cool things to explore going forward and I'm gald I will be there for the ride. If you haven't figured it out yet, I loved this issue!