- Written by Tom King
- Plot by Tom King & Tim Seeley
- Art by Stephen Mooney
- Colours by Jeromy Cox
- Letters by Carlos M. Mangual
- Cover by Andrew Robinson
After only two months to setup his new circumstances Dick Grayson is thrust five years in to the future so that we can witness the potential end of his New 52 story. Unlike other issues in the special ‘Futures End‘ month this story starts at the end and works its way backwards to show a young Dick at the circus with his family… yes this issue might as well be a sequel to Chris Nolan’s ‘Memento‘ and when you’ve finished your first read you’ll be reading the book backwards to help make some sense.
That being said this is a great Dick Grayson story. The issue opens with what appears to be his death and we’re left to ponder what might happen next as we travel backwards through time and learn what brought him to this point. There’s a trick to this issue which you’ll pick up on your second read which possibly gives away more about the story than either the artwork or the dialogue do directly.
In a previous ‘Grayson‘ review (#1 and #2) I spoke about how I hoped that Dick would be able to tie up his mission with SPYRAL and return to his vigilante career or move on to something new but it would appear that as the New 52 is drawing itself to a close Dick will still be firmly planted with them and that his mission may be to the death.
It seems that over the last five years there’s been a fair amount of character development and the world also seems to have become a more desperate place thanks to the ‘war of worlds’, as time moves backwards we find that Dick is helping the ‘reunited Eurasia’ but to what end we’re not really sure. There’s little time in the story to delve in to the events of the war of worlds but if the artwork both on the cover and in the book are to be believed then it’s not good news.
Dick’s relationship with Helena seems to have formed the crux of his time as Agent 47, there have been hints of it so far but it would seem that the relationship it going to develop pretty quickly from where it is now to reach the stage where we find them around the middle of this story. We’ve seen little of Helen outside of the ‘Grayson‘ continuity in the New 52 but hopefully with her importance to future Dick we’ll get to spend some quality time developing her into the Helena we meet at Dick’s hanging.
As the cover suggests the book is incredibly red, the kitschy pop artwork that amped up the spy story nature of earlier issues has been replaced by a more bleak future but character details remain strong and panels have a tangible depth to them that helps to ground ‘Grayson‘ in a more real world. There are obvious moments where a more hyper-realism takes over here but the atmosphere is consistent throughout. I’m still concerned than facial features can change between panels but it’s yet to worry me enough to ruin my enjoyment of the story.
The story itself is pretty complex but I get the feeling it may have been written in a more linear fashion and then cut up and reversed to create the story that we read here in this book. For fans of Dick through the years there’s a little bit of everything with glimpses of his ‘Grayson, ‘Nightwing‘ and ‘Robin‘ careers. Given the beginning of the story the format fits the idea of your life flashing before your eyes when you die but I can’t help but feel it slightly misses the point of ‘Futures End‘.
Either way its still a great story which gives us something to work towards whilst reading future issues of ‘Grayson‘.