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.