Like many, many other fans of the DC Universe I was pretty shocked that during the ‘Forever Evil‘ arc Dick Grayson was unmasked to the world as Nightwing and even more shocked when he was unceremoniously killed off for all the world to see followed by the announcement that the ongoing ‘Nightwing‘ title would be coming to an end.
Thankfully there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and for Dick Grayson fans that light is ‘Grayson‘ a new ongoing title featuring writing by Tim Seeley, plots from Tom King, art by Mikel Janin with colours by Jeromy Cox and letters by Carlos M. Mangual.
Having been killed off in ‘Forever Evil‘ Dick Grayson gets one last hurrah in a fight with Bruce Wayne which see’s the first Robin’s mentor ask him to go undercover which nicely leads in to where the story picks up in ‘Grayson‘ #1.
On first impression this book is predominantly set in daylight where ‘Nightwing’ followed the dark colour scheme of other titles in the Bat-series. The bright colours on the standard cover are a signifier of what will be found on the inside. Reading the issue reminded me a little of watching early episodes of ‘Alias‘ with all the wigs and costumes and pageantry of a classic spy tale.
There’s a fair amount of action in these pages with the train sequence leading in to a fight in a cooling tower before the action finally lets up and allows for some plot development but it’s a necessary part of piloting a new comic. Dick may have lost the mask and the escrima sticks but his acrobatic nature remains intact and there’s a high level of fun injected in to ‘Grayson’.
The support cast is made up of some interesting choices, not all of them expected and it will be interesting to see how these are developed over the coming months. In the last few issues of ‘Nightwing‘ it felt as though the cast was beginning to come together neatly and it was a shame to pull Dick out of that world but if something similar can be replicated here then I will forgive DC for pulling one of my favourite titles.
Going back to the title of classic spy tale there is of course a nefarious leader of the bad guys whose identity remains a mystery and who seems to have a lot of information about other superheroes in the DC Comics world including the knowledge that Bruce Wayne is Batman… of course part of the reason why Dick went undercover in the first place.
The spy setup is going to allow for some worldwide travel which hopefully will give the artists chance to vary the style of the book from month-to-month. The floodgates are literally open for them to take this character in to any territory they like with him not being tied down to anywhere but ‘Saint Hadrian’s Finishing School for Girls‘ where he doesn’t live in the main dorm.
There’s a lot of shading in the artwork to give the book an almost 3D appearance which took a little while to get used to but once I finally gave up and let go of ‘Nightwing‘ then there’s a lot to enjoy in the imagery here. There’s some psychedelic colours here courtesy of Spyral which really liven up the fight scenes though none quite as bright as the cover.
It may have been difficult to let go of ‘Nightwing‘ but ‘Grayson‘ #1 is a genuinely fun issue with a good story, strong writing and equally strong artwork. There’s still some development required on the supporting cast but hopefully given time this series will become a success in its own right.