Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grayson #20 Review

Turn Out the Lights When You're Done

Written by: Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Art by: Roge Antonio, Jeromy Cox and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 25, 2016

Last week we recorded out "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the New 52" Emergency Podcast (Here if you are interested) and this was my pick for favorite book of the whole shebang.  I guess I could also have put it on the Ugly list as well because the way it's ending is far from pretty.  I said it last week and I'll repeat myself here...I do not blame Lanzing and Kelly at all.  They got stuck with cleaning up the mess that this book had been hiding for over a year and while Tom King and Tim Seeley could write issues with Dick singing and goofing off, that time has ended.  Lanzing and Kelly have to not only end this sometimes convoluted story, but also do it in way that allows it's two characters go off into two separate Rebirth titles.  Do they get the job done in a satisfactory way?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a continuation of the Dick Grayson fighting Doctor Daedalus who is inside of Helena Bertinelli's body.  I know it's pretty messed up, but it's actually not as confusing as it sounds.  Of course, Dick is going with the whole "you can fight it, Helena" angle, but in the end, it looks like a sacrifice is going to have to be made.  Dick tells Otto to use his body instead.

It's the first hint of how Dick is going to get out of this book with his secrets intact and I have to admit it, I liked it.  It does get a little confusing as we see Dick and Helena together again before Daedalus claims Dick and I'm not entirely sold on the "Dick loves Helena" spin, but Lansing and Kelly get to the heart of the matter and show what Dick's about...putting others ahead of himself.

Then it happens.  The moment we all knew was coming since Batman and Robin Eternal.  The Somnus Satellite erases every one's memory of Dick Grayson.  I'm still not convinced that a satellite could erase EVERYTHING, but for the sake of getting a Nightwing book again, I'll go with it.  But how can we have a Nightwing book when there isn't even a Dick Grayson?  Seriously?!?  You really thought the issue was going to end with Netz still using Dick's body as a vessel?  You really are dumb!

This all leads to a battle in the mind of Otto Netz.  It's easily the best part of the issue and is more of a celebration of Dick Grayson than anything we got in Batman and Robin Eternal.  If you like the typical Dick Grayson dialogue, you get it here in spades and it's really good.  It goes by pretty quickly and then ends in a way that was way to easy even if it is a callback and makes sense in this series.

The issue ends with a loose end becoming a crazy dead end and Dick ready for a little Rebirth.  Helena is also there to explain the rules of how we will go forward and again, it's a real forced way to make things right...but it makes things right.

Well, Lanzing and Kelly did their job and while this issue lacked a lot of the charm and wit that Tom King brought to the series, it got the job done and was fun.  I really couldn't have expected any more out of them and if they were here, I'd give them both high fives.  That is, unless they are against high fives because they think they are better than me!

Roge Antonio may have had the toughest job here...fill Mikel Janin's shoes.  He does a better job this issue by not trying so hard to duplicate Janin's style, but just going with the flow.  He had a couple of really nice spreads and even got a little psychedelic at times.  It didn't hurt to have Jeromy Cox on colors and I commend him for coloring Antonio's art differently than he did Janin's which gave it it's own look as well.  By the way, if you are a fan of this series, you should buy this issue just for the incredible Mikel Janin cover!

Bits and Pieces:

It may not sound sexy, but Lansing and Kelly came in to do a job and did it. Dick Grayson and Helena Bertinelli are ready for their Rebirth closeups and even though we all knew how it would happen, they still threw in some cool surprises. This whole series was a celebration of Dick Grayson and it ends as just that.  I already miss this series.



  1. I guess I have to except this Retcon. Even though it is super convenient. I still think Dick could have been Nightwing with his Identity known. It would have given his character a new dynamic, and made him stick out more amongst the Bat Family. It's a shame his character peaked just before flashpoint, to fall back to more of the same. I'll give Nightwing #1 a try. And see if I could get used to having his character regress,(Kind of like the Batgirl/Oracle situation).

    1. i gave nightwing to eric to review because of that

  2. I agree. Grayson shines brilliantly among all the New 52 books. It was a perfect showcase for the character and the talent that produced it. BTW, having a satellite erase everyone's memories of Grayson is more acceptable, in my opinion, than when Spider-man's writers brought in a demon to retcon/erase Peter Parker's marriage to Mary Jane. Going forward, I'll always be willing to give a Nightwing book a chance.

    1. the satellite didn't other they gave it a bit of a twist

  3. I missed Tom King on this book but, if I'm being honest, I think that Lanzing and Kelly probably did just as well, if not better, than Seeley would have if HE had written these last couple of issues on his own.

    In the end, GRAYSON remains my favorite book of the New52. I always liked the character but never stuck with his solo stuff as long as I did on this title.

    Dick Grayson has, definitely, moved up in my personal ranking of Favorite Robins (and favorite characters in general) after this run.

    - Jax

    1. Funny you said that about Seeley...I think you're right!!! I am not a huge Seeley fan and am worried about Nightwing in Rebirth. He is the type that will try to keep grabbing for the Grayson magic which we all know, was all Tom King

    2. I'm a little worried as well. The funny thing is, Seeley can be a capable writer (in enjoying the hell out of his current SUICIDE SQUAD arc). With GRAYSON it was almost like he saw all of the praise Tom King was getting and decided he wanted the attention too. He wanted to prove that he could do anything that King could do (but he couldn't). The most glaring example of this is his own attempt at a musical beat the issue immediately after Tom King's "Agent 37" theme song (maybe my favorite issue).

  4. In Grayson's mind there was the Flying Grayson, Robin, Nightwing, Batman, what was that last Grayson was it suppose to be agent 37 was it Grayson as a talon, I don't get it did I miss a story?