Art by: Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 26, 2015
Dick Grayson is my favorite comic book character. Like others, I was very upset when DC canceled Nightwing for what seemed like a gimmick in Forever Evil. Kill Dick Grayson? Only Dan Didio could be so bold! However, when Grayson was announced, the Dick camp seemed to split in two and I fell into the any Dick is better than no Dick side of the fight. How could I say I was a Dick Grayson fan and not at least check out his new book. I am so glad I did because Grayson is 1 of my favorite books and one that I look forward to each month. The secret is that Tom King has given us a Dick Grayson book first and a Spyral/Spy book second. It is exciting, fun and is never afraid to poke fun at itself, but most importantly, Tom King just nails the characterization of his lead character. I often joke that Dick's super power is being a great guy and Tom King must agree with me. Last issue ended with a crazy cliffhanger showing that Dick was indeed the Spy Killer...or did it. I know that Spyral has ways of making their agents do crazy things, but the timing seemed really off. So if it wasn't Dick ready to Kill Agent 1, who was it and did it make another kick ass issue? Let's find out (kind of, because I'm not spoiling everything like Eric does in his reviews!)
The issue opens with last month's crazy cliffhanger...Dick is about to kill Agent 1, but keeps insisting that he tell Helena who is attacking him. It's so obvious it's not really Dick and just another bit to frame him. Tom King doesn't toy around long and the real Dick shows up in all his glory. Seriously, when Dick comments on his butt, it was laugh out loud funny and just another example of why I love this book. By the way, I don't agree with him. I think we all know what all the fuss is about. Buns.of.Steel.
Thus begins some Dick on Dick action. I know that a scene like this can fall into cliche very quickly, but Tom King maneuvers through it expertly. The key is the dialogue. It is spot on and goes from Dick cracking wise like he always does to his doppelganger changing it up and getting real. It's obvious that this impersonator knows Dick more than say, Clayface or Killer Croc. Whoever it is, they know everything about Dick. Why I loved this scene so much is the smile left my face at the exact moment it did Dick's. Tom King puts you right there in that catacombs by his side.
Then Tom King turns it up to eleven when Dick is shown how much he's being controlled by Spyral. The other Dick hacks into his hypnos and controls him at will. I know that's not a complete shock to readers of this book, but it ties into so much that we've seen, including Lex Luthor's part last issue. Then the doppelganger whispers "Tsuchigumo" and Dick is out cold. It is such a cool shout out to when Dick faced Midnighter earlier in the series. This issue is just bringing it all together.
With Dick out, it's up to Agent 1 to save himself and wait until you see what he does and then what he sees. Seriously, I am all about Dick Grayson, but this is the best scene in this book so far. Agent 1 is such a badass and while I liked him before, I love him now. That's what makes this scene so heartbreaking. What also makes this reveal so good is that it makes total sense with everything that has happened up until now. Still heartbreaking, though.
The issue ends with Dick leaving Spyral and heading back to find Bruce Wayne in Gotham (he's in for a bit of a shock) and an ending that promises that Dick's problems (and Spyral's) may be far from over. There is a alluded name drop that could turn out to be so awesome.
I loved this issue. Tom King ties together so many loose ends and some that I thought were already tied tightly together. This whole series has built upon itself from the beginning and this issue feels like the culmination of that. In fact, this issue almost feels like a grand finale with the bonus of being able to continue next month. I can't wait to see what happens when Dick returns to Gotham, but right now I'm still letting everything from this issue sink in. By the way, if you get the chance, go back and reread this issue because there are a couple of things that pop out during a second read that make it all that much better.
As far as the art goes, Milkel Janin and Jeromy Cox are on the top of their collective game here. Everything looks great and the panel where Dick's world spirals (spyrals?) out of control was fantastic. I would not change a thing in this issue.
Bits and Pieces:
If you are a Grayson fan, this is a must read. Saying that seems silly because of course you are going to read it, but a reviewer has to say things like that. This is more for the Grayson haters that are still out there...get off your soapboxes and get to the comic book store and buy this book. Your silly protest has lasted long enough and you are missing out on one of the best books period. When you finally catch up to this issue, remember how great I said it was because by then you will agree with me and will thank me. You're Welcome.