At the end of the just concluded DC Comics crossover “Forever Evil,” the superhero once known as Robin and then Nightwing was as good as dead. His secret identity exposed to the world, there was no chance of returning to a life as a masked crusader. With the world believing he is dead, Dick Grayson is beginning a new stage in his life as Agent 37 of the spy company Spyral.
Exit the superhero and enter the superspy in the pages of “Grayson” #1 the new series by writer Tim Seeley with a plot assist from Tom King and art from Mikel Janin. One page recaps the events that led Dick Grayson to his new life as a spy and then jumps right into the adventure atop a train speeding its way through Russia. Grayson’s mission is to beat out two other spy agencies to intercept a biological weapon on its way to China.
The book gets right down to the adventure detailing Grayson’s first covert mission that has lots of “American flair.” It is a great start to the series because instead of rehashing what has come before, Seeley launches right into a new story and the new life of Dick Grayson. If you have followed the character in the past he is the guy you have always known just without the mask, but if you are new to the series you get a new spy-themed hero.
“Grayson” #1 has an introduction to the intrigue within the Spyral organization with a mysterious power called Hypno as well as the faceless head of the group Mister Minos. The story plays well with Grayson’s charm as he uses his wits and acrobatics to get himself in and out of tight spots, while bantering with his partner Matron. Much is revealed about the two characters through the story so that they feel real throughout the issue.
Janin’s artwork is stellar in its ability to capture the action clean and clear. The story flows across each page as the skills Grayson once employed as Robin help him take out his new opponents including the mysterious Midnighter. For a book with limited use of costumes, the character designs are distinct and allow each individual to be easily recognizable.
The art is embellished by the colors of Jeromy Cox who uses a bright palate that evokes the colorful history of the character without jarring the setting of the story away from the spy theme. The colors are loud but perfectly in line with the tone and feel of the first issue.
Fans of Nightwing will enjoy “Grayson” because their character has returned. Fans of spy stories will find something new to follow in the DC Comics Universe. Seeley, King, Janin and Cox have added some diversity to the New 52 by moving away from super heroics as a central plot point and using it as a background to an espionage story.
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