We all know Dick Grayson, the original Robin who grew up to be Nightwing and eventually took over as Batman. But what happens when he’s forced to fake his death and become an agent of Spyral? Tom King and Tim Seeley breathe a major breath of fresh air into the character of Dick Grayson by taking him out of his comfort zone and placing him squarely in a well-crafted spy drama. And it shouldn’t work. But it does. And I’m grateful that they are collecting the entire run into one massive omnibus – almost 1000 pages of goodness!
I really thought I would miss the Nightwing persona and surrounding Gotham craziness as Dick moved into the spy world, but the transition was seamless and the writers made it almost seem like Dick should have been a super spy as Agent 37 this entire time. That’s how great the book is.
There are great character interactions with Helena Bertinelli (Huntress) and Midnighter as Dick makes his from one adventure to the next. They are each after organs that could have drastic effects if they were to fall into the wrong hands. There is great intrigue in the Spyral Agency and Dick must also watch out for a deeper betrayal that might be following him. Mysteries abound as agents are being killed and it’s up to Grayson to discover who is responsible and to stop them.
The series ramps up the action and double crossing as Dick must team up with an unwilling ally to counteract the head of Spyral who wants them taken out. Dick will have to call on some familiar associates to help him out of this mess. As the series comes to a close and it’s clear that Dick will be returning to his Nightwing alias, the book breaks down a bit, to be honest. There were clear indicators that the writers had to put things back to where they started so they wrapped up everything fairly quickly. This isn’t to say that the entire series isn’t worth reading. Very much the opposite. In a comic medium where the story is ongoing, having a storyline that has a definitive beginning, middle and ending is quite impressive.
All in all, having Dick Grayson become a spy was a risky move, but one that really paid off. It pushed Dick into a new world where he could fully explore this spy drama and shadowy world. The book is a great example of putting an established character in a brand new setting and telling a good story. I knew from the outset, that the Grayson title would be short lived, that Dick would go back to being Nightwing at some point, but the journey is truly worth it.
Mikel Janin turns in some compelling artwork throughout the run. His art is incredible and really fits into the spycraft/superheroics that ensue when Dick is on a mission for Spyral. The fighting scenes are inventive and showcase his prowess as an acrobat and fighter. The strong artwork along with the compelling story makes Grayson one of the best books put out by DC. Interesting to note is that Tom King is an ex-CIA agent and has used his experiences in his writing, including within the pages of Grayson.
Grayson is written by Tim Seeley, Tom King with artwork by Mikel Janin collects all 20 issues of Grayson, 3 Annuals, Futures End, Secret Origins, Robin War 1 & 2, and Nightwing: Rebirth.