Comic Vine Review

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Grayson #1 Review

4

Dick Grayson has left his former life and identity behind to join a secret spy organization. This is what happens next.

The Good

Sometimes change can be a good thing. There’s nothing wrong with trying to step outside the status quo. That’s something DC has often done over the years. With a beloved character like Dick Grayson, there is more of a risk over fans being outraged. To be fair, Dick is a character that used to be Batman’s kid sidekick, Robin. He later gave that up to lead the Teen Titans (in previous continuity) and, soon after, became Nightwing. He’s moved around and called different places home. If any established character in the DC Universe could make such a drastic change, it’s Dick Grayson.

Through the events in FOREVER EVIL, Nightwing’s secret identity was exposed. While it’s possible Dick Grayson could have still continued his crime fighting career (the fact that a crazed superhuman actually moved the moon out of orbit might be a distraction), but the decision was to “kill” off the identity of Dick Grayson. This was Batman’s identity so that Dick could infiltrate a secret spy organization called Spyral. We jump right into the action here, seeing Dick, as Agent 37, on an early mission (Dick was seen joining Spyral in the final issue of NIGHTWING).

Dick Grayson as a spy makes some sense. He doesn’t have superpowers to make him stand out (or give him an unfair comic book advantage) but he does have other incredible skills. Through his time with Batman, the World’s Greatest Detective, and out on his own, he would have no problem infiltrating this group and making an adjustment like this. There is plenty of potential in this series and it could be really cool to see how Dick moves forward and how it will continue to evolve his character. I did like that there’s an explanation as to how he can run around without a mask after being publicly exposed and trying to convince his loved ones he’s dead. Tim Seeley hits all the marks in this area.

Mikel Janin’s art is always a treat to see. With Dick not having a flashy costume, there needs to be care in making sure the details of his face and movement are captured. The setting isn’t a typical one you’d see in superhero comics and Janin doesn’t miss a beat. Jeromy Cox's colors adds even more glory to Janin's art and gives it a nice separate feel from the rest of the DCU.

The Bad

Dick as a spy and not a superhero will take some getting used to. It’s still hard to see why the need was for this change. This may have been an idea formed before this series went underway but there isn’t exactly a whole lot here that really sells the readers on why this is a necessary change for Dick Grayson. But it does open some new areas to explore.

There is some fun in being thrown straight into the action. Unfortunately it leaves readers wondering what exactly is going on. A sense of mystery may be important in building up the suspense of the story but for us to not know exactly what the mission is or what the stakes are, it takes a little away from the enjoyment. The sudden appearance of Midnighter felt like it came out of nowhere. Hopefully we’ll see the appearance of Kathy Kane since that would make a lot of sense and could make things really interesting.

Helena Bertinelli’s inclusion (and change) still needs to be explored. Obviously this is only the first issue but there is no sign of why it was necessary to include her in this role or to completely rewrite her character history. They're could definitely be promise to this character but it's perplexing that DC felt the need to completely revamp the character. (Note: This aspect does not directly affect the rating for this issue).

The Verdict

Dick Grayson has evolved once again into a different guise in the DC Universe. No longer a superhero, he has now entered the world of espionage as he tries to infiltrate a spy organization. The big question is whether or not this change is necessary. Tim Seeley and Tom King set things up to arouse our curiosity and shows that this could be an exciting time for the character. Mikel Janin's art and Jeromy Cox's colors make this look really good. Dick Grayson as a spy might be a crazy idea but it could just be crazy enough to work. Dick Grayson fans will want to see where the character is going.

62 Comments
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Posted by MrTummyTumms

Glad to see the first issue started off pretty good.

Posted by danhimself

I was honestly worried about this and I'll be honest that I wasn't a fan of the change when it was announced....but....it was a good issue...I enjoyed and I'll keep reading this....am I still upset that he's no longer Nightwing? Yes! but this book was well written and the art was good

Edited by kasino

Dick Grayson the Human Target

Posted by G-Man

@danhimself: Maybe I'm just skeptical but I feel like he'll return to NIGHTWING someday. But then again, he never returned to Robin. Then again again, he did return to Nightwing after being Batman.

Posted by longbowhunter

I bought this issue mostly for the Jock variant. Haven't read it yet.

Posted by danhimself

@g_man said:

@danhimself: Maybe I'm just skeptical but I feel like he'll return to NIGHTWING someday. But then again, he never returned to Robin. Then again again, he did return to Nightwing after being Batman.

Oh I fully agree that he'll eventually go back to being Nightwing someday but that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy his time as a spy

Posted by Jayc1324

What I'm getting from this review is that this is a decent, average issue but there was no need for this to exist at all, and it was a silly, unnecessary change for dick. I'm buying this in trades when the first one comes out and I hope it lives up to its potential because its just OK right now. Very uncomfortable and unnecessary.

Posted by Denn979

It may not have been the best change for Dick, but the issue was pretty good overall, especially the art by Janin.

Posted by BatWatch

I'm okay with the concept of Grayson, but reading the beginning of the article reminded me about the loss of Dick in the Teen Titans and all his glorious pre-52 continuity, and that just makes me irate.

Anybody else for rioting until they restore pre-52 universe? Anybody? No? Guess it's just me. Hold on while I set my neighbor's car on fire.

Posted by Godlike130

This issue was solid gold. Get over the change already and enjoy the ride.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

@batwatch said:

Anybody else for rioting until they restore pre-52 universe? Anybody? No? Guess it's just me. Hold on while I set my neighbor's car on fire.

I would not mind if the real characters returned & these alternate versions in this cross-over of the new52 ended, except for the occasional team-up or whatever for the next crisis. I remember getting into comics right before Marvel did the AOA & so thought it was the new permanent status-quo.

*

As for Grayson, super-spy, had they not already brought back Jason Todd, I'd rather this be how they did it. I do not like Jason using the RedHood name. I dont like characters taking over someone elses costume either, so I wouldnt want Jason to abondon the RedHood to replace Dick as Nightwing. Mainly because, we know Dick WILL be back to being Nightwing soon. & if not him, then some meat will be wearing the suit, & I dont like costumes being passed around. It cheapens them & weakens the franchise by giving the fans too much confusion. A big mistake in GL & Flash is that the fans have to try & figure out why there are now 5GLs, not even counting Alan or Jade, & 4 speeders. Plus, it doesnt help establish Jason if all he does is take over someone else's costume either.

But, whatever, its clearly an extended mission for Dick from Bats.

Posted by BruceWayne19

Really good issue, I didn't doubt the change at all, in fact it made a lot of sense to me. One day he will don the tights again but until then this will be an exciting series

Posted by Wardishy

I will definitely check this issue out once I eventually read all of NIGHTWING. I'm only up to about issue 15 lol.

Posted by Rainja

I

Posted by Nahuel

I'm picking this up for sure! I'm really adaptable to change.

Posted by kid Apollo

i have a theory that eventually, with all the name changes, costume changes and identity swaps that superheroes/villains will someday only be known on this site by their civilian identities. it would be quicker to search dick grayson then it would robin/nightwing/batman

Edited by Twentyfive

This issue was solid gold. Get over the change already and enjoy the ride.

Priceless advice.

Posted by wtk1013

Sooo.....what was Helena Bertinelli like in this issue?

Posted by Nightwing_Beyond

As a Batman Inc. fan, I kinda geeked out when I saw Saint Hadrian's Finishing School For Girls again:) Dick Grayson was characterized perfectly as expected but, I'm surprised how much I enjoyed Helena Bertinelli's characterization in this issue. She has that ultimate Bond girl vibe to her which I really like. I'm not gonna lie though, at times when I read Dick's lines, I heard Archer's voice in my head. Just from the way this issue is structured, I have a feeling this book won't suffer from a second issue slump like many other books do and will be even more bombastic! Looking forward to this ride and thanking the DC Gods that Dick isn't six feet under right now...

Posted by lightsout

@g_man said:

Then again again, he did return to Nightwing after being Batman.

Wasn't that just because of the new-52 "reboot"? - that they wanted to have a Nightwing title. (Or was there an in-comic explanation I'm not aware of).

Very good review tho G-Man, answered what I wanted to know ("vibe" wise) about this title. I think I'm going to have to pass on this one. Not angry he's not no-longer Nightwing, just not a fan of non-SuperHero business.

Posted by Squalleon

Nice start.
Kind of a quick read. We didn't get much plot developed but the main characters were introduced and set.
I will definetely give issue 2 a shot.

Posted by Bsaa
Posted by dagmar_merrill

Wait... did Grayson just fight Midnighter and not get his ass kicked right away?

Edited by GrandWonder

Grayson as a spy definitely works. It's fresh and I'm hooked. I can't wait for the next issue.

Posted by burningzeroX

@dagmar_merrill Yes, Yes he did.

Am I the only one that still feels this whole Spy thing is just going to be a short lived item anyhow. I still feel this is just preparing Dick for his next great adventure. I'm calling that they already have an end in mind and it will be near the end of Batman Eternal or shortly there after.

Posted by longbowhunter

I thought this was great. Awesome action packed story. Really like the supporting cast and am eager to learn more about Spyral. Like I said before, I picked this up because of the Jock cover not really expecting much out of the story. But Tim Seeley brought the creepy and Mikel Janin's art has never looked better. Great start so far.

Posted by Winter_Kills

@batwatch said:

I'm okay with the concept of Grayson, but reading the beginning of the article reminded me about the loss of Dick in the Teen Titans and all his glorious pre-52 continuity, and that just makes me irate.

Anybody else for rioting until they restore pre-52 universe? Anybody? No? Guess it's just me. Hold on while I set my neighbor's car on fire.

Hey I'm with ya brother! let me get some molotov cocktails made up...but seriously, the New 52 turned me off DC in a lot of ways- retconning out the JSA was a BIG one for me. As well as Wally West. Dick Grayson was one of the few characters I could enjoy- & I can't help but feel like this change was made because DC recognized the popularity of Bucky as the Winter Soldier, & felt they could have the same success by making Dick a super-spy character, with the world at large thinking him dead. But that's not who Dick is. Dick has always been a swashbuckling crimefighter, going back to his Robin days. There's other characters that could fit more in the super-spy arena- Roy Harper, for example, who was an agent of Checkmate- but Dick Grayson? C'mon. Like G-Man said above, there was a HUGE distraction that could've overshadowed the reveal of his identity & he could've continued as Nightwing. I hope in the future, he can be Nightwing again, maybe this experience will make him better, I dunno. Sorry DC- Bucky is Bucky, Dick is Dick. But, imitation is the best form of flattery. It's ironic though that DC can put this book out while Marvel can't even produce a decent WS limited series, despite the previous successes of the character & the movie. And on the bright side, maybe this will be something that helps Dick to stand out on his own man, more than he has been lately, and maybe this will light a fire under Marvel's butt & get them to remember what everyone, inc. DC realizes- that the Winter Soldier is an awesome concept, & put out a quality series with him.

Posted by redwingx

Glad to hear that the issue is solid.

Posted by Farkam

I wish they kept the domino mask, at least.

Edited by redwingx

@farkam said:

I wish they kept the domino mask, at least.

And the name Nightwing:(

Posted by PScully

Dear DC,

Won't buy it. Won't even LOOK at it. I wish nothing but bad things for this direction with Dick Grayson.

Edited by redwingx

@dagmar_merrill said:

Wait... did Grayson just fight Midnighter and not get his ass kicked right away?

Midnighter was going easy on him.

Posted by danhimself
@pscully said:

Dear DC,

Won't buy it. Won't even LOOK at it. I wish nothing but bad things for this direction with Dick Grayson.

your stubbornness is keeping you away from a pretty enjoyable book

Dick is still Dick in this....there weren't any glaring out of character moments for him....the only thing different right now is that he's not calling himself Nightwing....I actually enjoyed this more than his time as Batman

Posted by Jake Fury

Creative team has me interested..

Online
Posted by mak13131313

Really good issue, I didn't doubt the change at all, in fact it made a lot of sense to me. One day he will don the tights again but until then this will be an exciting series

This.

Posted by feedonatreefrog

Dont see why people are so negative about having something different for a while.

Posted by Brione

This was a great read. Dick was pretty much the same Dick just in a different situation. I really like all the connections to Batman, Inc and I'm curious to see where the story goes.

Posted by DocFishstick

I am so glad he is not dead. I love the book. Just read it and I think its going to be great.

Posted by Catriona_Knightfall

@wtk1013 said:

Sooo.....what was Helena Bertinelli like in this issue?

In a word? Badass.

Posted by minpod

Is no one going to point out the code names? Mr Malone? Matches Malone?

Posted by patrat18

@brucewayne19 said:

Really good issue, I didn't doubt the change at all, in fact it made a lot of sense to me. One day he will don the tights again but until then this will be an exciting series

This.

2up

Posted by reaverlation

Midnighter should've accidentally killed Dick

Posted by HushoftheWind

Man Dick gets no credit in his fighting feats. It seems like every time he's pitted against a high level street leveler he's suppose to get stomp. People need to really stop underestimating Dick Grayson his showing against Midniter was amazing and he held his own like he is capable of doing so.

Posted by jackbensley777

him and batman could do the jobs as spies more or less in costume without changing their book into a spy book. i like cold war era spy stuff specifically bond, might not pick this up actually.

Edited by JazzLover

@hushofthewind said:

Man Dick gets no credit in his fighting feats. It seems like every time he's pitted against a high level street leveler he's suppose to get stomp. People need to really stop underestimating Dick Grayson his showing against Midniter was amazing and he held his own like he is capable of doing so.

Agree with this. Sure Midnighter is strong but you could at least give Dick some credit, no need to underestimate him that much.

@brucewayne19 said:

Really good issue, I didn't doubt the change at all, in fact it made a lot of sense to me. One day he will don the tights again but until then this will be an exciting series

Yeah this is just a mission, who knows maybe this all has something to do with his 75th anniversary in 2015. But I guess it's pretty clear that he will return to his Nightwing persona or at least to his hero life. I like the change and the issue was great. I'll enjoy this comic as long as I can ~

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@hushofthewind said:

Man Dick gets no credit in his fighting feats. It seems like every time he's pitted against a high level street leveler he's suppose to get stomp. People need to really stop underestimating Dick Grayson his showing against Midniter was amazing and he held his own like he is capable of doing so.

Agree with this. Sure Midnighter is strong but you could at least give Dick some credit, no need to underestimate him that much.

@brucewayne19 said:

Really good issue, I didn't doubt the change at all, in fact it made a lot of sense to me. One day he will don the tights again but until then this will be an exciting series

Yeah this is just a mission, who knows maybe this all has something to do with his 75th anniversary in 2015. But I guess it's pretty clear that he will return to his Nightwing persona or at least to his hero life. I like the change and the issue was great. I'll enjoy this comic as long as I can ~

Midnighter isn't street level. In fact he's so far beyond street level that it isn't even funny.

Online
Edited by InkInk

Man I love how with only one issue out so far people are saying the series is amazing or on the other side of the coin saying it sucks. You can't judge and ongoing series by one issue have to give it at least one full story line.

Edited by cheluprim

Awww yeeahhh, this issue was awesome! Was sad to when I heard he wouldn't be Nightwing anymore but as long as Dick still has a series I'm happy :)

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