Grayson #3 (Comics Review)
Last month we got a dose of what the future holds for Dick Grayson aka Nightwing aka Agent 37 and his friend and colleague Helena Bertinelli aka Matron. Working for SPYRAL is a pretty dangerous job, and in the first three issues of the new series, we’ve seen that again and again as Dick is continually challenged by his circumstances while also maintaining his cover as a dedicated agent for SPYRAL. Tom King and Tim Seeley are keeping the series chugging along really nice while Mikel Janin keeps up his awesomeness month after month and this week’s issue is no exception..
This week’s Grayson #3 sees Dick, Helena and two other SPYRAL agents go after a villain who is quite unique in most aspects. Having lost the use of his eyes, he’s had some advanced surgery done to link his ocular nerves to two over-sized guns and now works as an assassin. Going after a villain like this means using guns, and that’s the big challenge for Dick in this issue: using guns. I have to say that Tom and Tim have done something spectacular once again. They really seem to have a good handle on this new Dick Grayson and Mikel’s artwork is as great as ever.
One of the biggest concerns that many people, including myself, had with the new series was that the first issue showed the lead character with a gun in his hand. One of Batman’s biggest self-imposed rules has been “no guns” when fighting criminals and it is a belief that he passed on to all his proteges. There has been some deviation from this rule over the years, but the core concept has remained solid and is one of the things that marks out the Bat-family from many of the other heroes. But with Dick now a part of SPYRAL and his identity as Nightwing and Dick Grayson dead to the rest of the world, except for Batman, a big question was how and why he has suddenly taken up a gun.
This issue does a great job of addressing that question and it puts all the fears for rest. Going after a man who looks only through his guns, Dick has to face this internal struggle alone while those around him give in to the temptation of it. There’s even a great sequence between Dick and Agent 8 aka Alia where they discuss how Dick pulls his shot while on the training range and later on when they make out, discussing the philosophy of the gun. Apart from the somewhat weird setting of the second half of the scene, this was some pretty good rumination and I like what Tom and Tim have done here.
Of course, there is more going on here of course, and even as we see what is going on with Dick and the fateful ending of his internal struggle, we get to see what kind of webs Mr. Minos is weaving. He is the top man at SPYRAL, or so it seems, and he seems to be everywhere, handing out assignments to his agents and confirming their allegiances to him and to his work, which involves collecting information on all superheroes everywhere. Dangerous work that, and indeed one of the reasons why Batman placed Dick at SPYRAL in the first place at the end of Forever Evil.
I love the direction of this series. It isn’t caught up in the general New 52 bleakness and it brings a very strong James Bond vibe to proceedings, with all that entails. Yeah, some of that might not be to everyone’s tastes, but I love it since it means that theres a strong hint of fun in New 52!
Mikel is the artist here with Jeromy Cox on colours and Carlos M. Mangual on letters. And I’m not really sure what I can say about the art. Mikel is one of my favourite artists in the industry, especially at DC and he proves that again with this episode. His character design for The Old Gun is pretty fantastic and I loved how he broke up all the panels for this issue, creating a very strong sense of visual progression in a way that is different from the usual at DC. I’d say that in this, only Andrea Sorrentino, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are a match for Mikel in terms of doing unique layouts.
Wonder how things are going to go next month, with the inevitable confrontation between Matron and Dick.
Posted on October 3, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Agent 37, Batman, Carlos M. Mangual, Comics, Comics Review, DC Comics, Death of a Superhero, Espionage, Forever Evil, Gotham, Grayson, Helena Bertinelli, Jeromy Cox, Midnighter, Mikel Janin, Mister Minos, New 52, Nightwing, Review, Review Central, Spy, Spy Thriller, SPYRAL, Superheroes, Superspies, Tim Seeley, Tom King. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.