I actually promised to review this a while back when I took a look at the first Grayson annual but unfortunately, this first arc was longer than I figured it would be, thus it took longer than expected. Oh well.
Grayson is the reboot of the old Nightwing comic, something I dearly loved and hated to see come to an end, but is this new version of the Dick Grayson tale as good, or even better than the old Nightwing tale? Read on and let’s see how it stacks up.
Dick Grayson has a long history in the DC universe. Beginning as Batman’s original teenage sidekick Robin, he moved on to take the role of Nightwing, first in the New Teen Titans and thereafter as a solo character. When Batman was injured, Dick took over the cowl for a while, teaming up with Bruce Wayne’s son Damien as the Boy Wonder. However, after the Crime Syndicate finds out Nightwing’s real identity and Dick is ostensibly killed, Batman sends him on a top secret mission to infiltrate the spy organization Spyral, to take it down from the inside, especially it’s mysterious leader, Mr. Minos, as he has his agents pursue super-scientific body parts for some ultimate nefarious purpose.
I was really disappointed to see Nightwing come to an end but after reading through the first eight issues (and that’s all there will be for a while since most things take a break for “Convergence”), I’ve changed my mind, I really love what they’ve done with Dick Grayson. He’s not in a costume but he still moves and acts like a superhero. There’s a lot in the comic that feels like an homage to the James Bond super-spy genre as much as it does to the superhero comics. Add in some really interesting characters like Helena Bertinelli (Huntress in the pre-New-52 continuity), throw in a love interest of sorts and you have a very tightly written take that sucks you in and keeps you flipping pages. Tim Seely is doing a really good job here.
Okay, it’s not all perfect, there are some places where the art by Mikel Janin suffers, particularly where Helena is concerned, but as time goes on, it improves issue after issue. I also have an issue with the constant progress reports made to Batman, done to remind readers that they’re still reading a Bat-Family comic. It’s portrayed as being risky to communicate but they do so in every single issue. I also think it makes Dick look subordinate to Batman, something he did away with many years ago. I want a book about Dick Grayson, not Batman’s pal Dick. Believe it or not, Batman doesn’t have to be in everything.
There was a time when both Marvel and DC published comics in a wide variety of genres, from superhero to romance to spy to horror. There is a lot of cross-over with the superhero genre here but I’m really digging the super-spy vibe and really hope it continues. Although I admittedly don’t read a ton of DC books because I don’t care how they handle their heroes, this one really appeals to me on a lot of levels. Give it a shot when it comes back later on in the year.