SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Comics -

You don’t know Dick

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Pub­lisher: DC Writer: Tim See­ley Artist: Mikel Janin


con­dens­ing 74 years of con­ti­nu­ity into four pan­els on the open­ing page – ac­ro­bat/ Robin/ Nightwing/ Bat­man – be­fore mov­ing cowl- first into the the next phase of our ti­tlu­lar hero’s ca­reer ( un­der­cover spy), Grayson is noth­ing if not con­fi­dent.

We join Bat­man’s pal Dick in- mis­sion as a su­per- spy; grap­pling on a train top like he’s joined Skyfall rather than a covert agency named Spyral. Those Bond ref­er­ences get less sub­tle by is­sue two, with not one but two di­rect ref­er­ences. By is­sue three, we get the sin­gle- best dou­ble- en­ten­dre in Bat­man his­tory and, as with Bond, it in­volves a play on some­one’s name (“Dick!”).

Which isn’t to say Grayson is a con­stantly frivolous read. Is­sue three con­tains a mo­ment as dark as any­thing re­leased by Ver­tigo, ul­tra- vi­o­lent Bat- alike Mid­nighter cameos, and, as the plot deep­ens, we dis­cover it’s closer to Ed Brubaker’s Sleeper than The Spy Who Loved Me. That depth isn’t par­tic­u­larly re­flected in the art, which re­ally is fun – mix­ing clean lines with sud­den psychedelia and back­ground de­tails that would fit a ’ 50s mon­ster movie.

So, a real mix – and it’s not yet clear how suc­cess­fully the styles are gelling. The high con­cept has po­ten­tial, but it’s strangely weighed down by ex­po­si­tional di­a­logue and in­con­sis­tent be­hav­iour. Maybe that’ll be cleared up by the con­clu­sion of the first arc – there’s enough here to make us stick with the side­kick for that long at least. Sam Ashurst Writer Tim See­ley names ’ 70s Bat­man sto­ries, Greg Rucka’s Check­mate and Sui­cide Squad as in­flu­ences.

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