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The Downward Spyral.

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"Former Sidekick.

Former Hero.

Former Dead Man."

Bucky Barnes? Aka, the Winter Soldier? Star of this summer's hit Marvel film?

Nope. Dick Grayson. In a new DC Comics monthly series by two people I've never heard of. "Grayson" features a very Winter Soldierish looking version of Dick Grayson — the original Robin, and later Nightwing. The similarities are too many to be coincidental.

"Agent of Spyral." Like "Hydra?" Spiral, as in a force with ever widening resources? Like a hydra, wherein a felled appendage is replaced by two more? Certainly evokes thoughts of Marvel's terrorist group.

This is the solicitation copy from their Previews ad: "Branded a traitor, Dick Grayson has become the most powerful hero in the newly resurgent and dominant Mother Russia — and now, he must battle the Beast from the East in one final struggle for supremacy!" Does anyone care, anymore? This is shameless concept copying, and smacks of "catch-up" desperation, much like the constant additions to the Superman movie sequel, do.

Further, this "Grayson" series is part of a massive "Futures End" crossover event. Again, sound familiar? Like Marvel's "Days of Future Past?" It would be maddening if it wasn't so pathetic. Sad, actually.

The attempt to keep their stories and characters evolving is laudable, and in skilled hands, could produce some very exciting stories, but this just feels rushed, and calculated to cash in on the cachet of a superior property.

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