Dick Grayson might be one of the most beloved superheroes. By fans, by creative teams, by other characters, it’s almost impossible not to like something about Dick. He’s confident, sexy, charming, and engaging to be around. Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janin return to this espionage series, bringing with them all the craziness and over-the-top action that helped make this one of the most entertaining and fun books DC has been putting out.
Written by Tom King and Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox
Everything changes as Helena takes over SPYRAL! Plus: Grayson gets a new partner!
At the end of the last arc, Helena Bertinelli, aka Matron, had put an arrow through the head of Mister Minos and essentially took control of Spyral, an organization so secret, its agents don’t even know their level of involvement most times. And now she’s been summoned by this, like, congress of spy organizations. (Grifter was in it, maybe? Checkmate?) They’re upset because so many of their field agents are getting killed in Spyral-sanctioned missions and they want Matron to figure out what the hell is going on before a intelligence war starts.
It doesn’t take Matron long to put together all these missions somehow involved Dick Grayson.
Meanwhile, Grayson himself is on a mission to steal a kryptonite crystal necklace from some duchess in Spain. He’s also been paging home to white noise, not entirely understanding why Bruce won’t answer, not realizing that the only person who knew he’s alive and what he’s been doing is no longer in the picture.
A lot of why “Grayson” works, not only this series but this issue, has been because King, Seeley, and Janin have this obvious adoration for the character and his characteristics. They like putting him in increasingly ridiculous situations and trying to figure out how he would act or react. They like giving him goofy expressions, seducing people with his charm, and having him in constant states of undress before throwing him into some high-stakes action sequence. If mainstream comics writing is like a professional RPG campaign, these are the types of players who wouldn’t mind sending the campaign off on a tangent for the sake of entertainment.
Tim Seeley and Tom King cook up the stories for “Grayson” before splitting up the scripts. King handles the brunt of the writing this time around and he’s only gotten better at evoking intrigue and maintaining mystery. It’s easy to assume that he was originally brought on because his intelligence background would lend some sort of credibility to Dick’s latest adventures, but King’s all about the ridiculousness of the whole thing. This is a weird book, where big bosses have distorted faces and field agents have hypnotizing abilities to make anyone they come across forget everything and where Dick Grayson has to pose as a gay gymnastic instructor at an all-girls private school for assassins, and King embraces all that. I think he’s realized that credibility to a character works far better for a story — especially a big, weird bombastic story — than actual credibility to physics.
Yes, popping a jewel out of a necklace while dancing with the necklace’s owner is impossible, but does that matter?
Mikel Janin has a lot of fun with movement. Though there’s plenty of sexy moments, he approaches the action in this issue with a more fluid sensuality. He reminds you of some of the kinetics from previous issues (like the gun bouncing off the post to knock out the bad guy on a train in issue 1), but his centerpiece is this giant two-page spread where Dick leads the duchess around the dance floor as he attempts to steal the necklace. You almost hear the music coming up from behind it. It’s a shame that this spread didn’t work 100%. The word balloons didn’t follow the rhythm of the action and they kind of break the tension, though I’m sure you could just look at the page without any dialogue and know what’s going on and know how super suave Dick’s being at that moment.
But the chase sequences! The mysterious reveals! The costume changes! Janin’s sense is as frenetic and inventive and all around fun as the last couple Mission: Impossible movies and month after month, this book has been a continuous blast to read.Continued below
“Grayson” #9 continues the entertaining, exciting, and engaging spy adventures of Dick Grayson. King, Seeley, and Janin want you to have a great time reading this book, and what more could you ask of an over-the-top espionage adventure?
Final Verdict: 8.0 – Fast, fun, and sexy, “Grayson” has continuously proved to be a fantastic evolution for the character