Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn by Tom King

Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At DawnGrayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn by Tom King

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well that was…underwhelming.

When you title a series Grayson, and most of the hype around said series revolves around the presence of said Grayson, one would expect this Grayson to actually be in his own book.
Instead, we’re lucky enough to receive glimpses of Agent 37 as he occasionally pops up to grace the pages just when you’re starting to lose interest in the threadbare story.
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Batman: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder

Batman: The Black MirrorBatman: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eh. Meh.

I feel like there’s a theme in Snyder’s books about secret underground organisations existing for ages in Gotham, which just shock the hell out of whoever is Batman at the moment. Maybe it’s less impressive because I read Court of Owls first?

There are three stories in this one, and I’m not sure which one I liked the best, since they all had their pros and cons.

I seem to be incapable of writing coherently today. so quick impressions.
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Review: Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral

Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of SpyralGrayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral by Tim Seeley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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A D-List character buddy read with my Shallow Comic Reading pals!

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Ok, I’m really gonna try and not go wall to wall with “Dick” jokes in this one. I promise.

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FUUUNNN STUFF! With so many mixed reviews for this book, I had no clue where I would land on this one. Well I like Dick….Grayson….Nightwing…..Agent 37….Whatever. Following Forever Evil, Nightwing takes on a new role as Batman’s spy in the clandestine organization known as Spyral. I won’t get into how this all comes to pass, just in case you missed it, but it made some sense. I’m not really up to date on all the New 52 stuff (including the New 52 Nightwing series) and it really didn’t matter. The beginning of this volume brings you up to speed from the gate.

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This volume’s a pretty short and sweet “lay the foundation” kinda book. It introduces the key characters with a cool guest appearance by the Midnighter. Helena Bertinelli (previously the Huntress) takes on a new role in this series as well. So far I’m cool with it. Minimal Batman in this one if that’s a problem for you. Not for me. I prefer my Dick solo. Figuratively speaking. Saw some gripes about the fact that Grayson is using a gun and is a secret agent that doesn’t kill. I totally get it, but it really didn’t bother me. Got the impression they might be working that into the story a little later.

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I thought Tim Seeley and Tom King have Grayson’s “voice” down pretty good. He’s a playa and puts that acrobat’s body to good use almost right from the start. Ladies love Dick. The writers kept it lite for the most part with a couple of darker moments. True to form, Grayson bounced back from the grim stuff pretty quick. Loved the “Man-ty Raid” and the resulting cover that Minos (he’s Spyral’s Dr.Evil) comes up with for Grayson as a result. Minos is peaking my interest so far as well. Some potential there. I wasn’t as crazy about the Future’s End issue included at the ass end of this one, but it didn’t suck.

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Mikel Janin’s art simply rocks. Love it. Clean lines that I thought were similar to Frank Cho’s with less cheesecake. This one actually seems to be geared a little more towards the ladies with Grayson’s abs oozing out all over the place. The sexy bastard. The other artists that contributed were ok. Nothing special.

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I liked this new take on Dick and would recommend it to anybody that isn’t stuck on Grayson as Nightwing or enjoys a more light-hearted kinda hero book. If you’re not into new interpretations of old characters or prefer your spies be more of the “Bond” variety, you might wanna skip it. It’s a completely different direction for the character that I’m on board with for now.

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Review: Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral by Tim Seeley , Mikel Janin (Illustrations)

Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of SpyralGrayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral by Tim Seeley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You might think you know Nightwing…you don’t know Dick.
*slow clap*
So, yeah, that’s a pretty cute tagline for DC’s new Grayson title.

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So, you know how…ok wait. If you don’t know what happened to Dick in Forever Evil, then this might be a spoiler for you. Everyone else, feel free to keep reading.
*taps foot…waits*
So, you know how Nightwing gets captured, unmasked publicly, and then is killedish?

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Well, Batman and Grayson have a big pointless fight scene in Nightwing: Setting Son, and Batman orders asks Dick to stay dead and infiltrate an organization that he wants to keep an eye on.

Love takes many forms…
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Alrighty. This is all about Grayson’s adventure in becoming a double agent. And it’s all very Bondesque. The lies, the gadgets, and, of course…the ladies.
They even manage to throw in a few more Dick jokes.

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So was this faboo?
Yes and no.
I loved the lighter tone of this one. The humor, and the lack of a gritty/grim feel to everything was so refreshing. I mean, just unbelievably refreshing.
Thank you, DC! More of this, please!
But the actual plot is a bit confusing.
WhatTheFuck is Spyral?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kathy Kane started this group to keep an eye on superheroes. But beyond that teeny little explanation, I have no idea what these guys are about. Are they good? Are they evil? Are they something else? What?!
From what happened in the opening sequence, I assumed they were straight-up bad guys bent on world domination, but by the end of this, I thought maybe some of them thought they were the Good Guys. And then I changed my mind. And then I changed it back. The whole thing left me confused.
And maybe that was the point, but I didn’t like it.
*stomps foot*

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However, the good outweighed the bad. For me, at least.
I’m on board with this one, and hoping that they work out the kinks in the next volume, because I can see Grayson turning into something that could be one of my favorites.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me a digital copy to review.

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Review: Grayson Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral, by Tim Seeley

Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of SpyralGrayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral by Tim Seeley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly, thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in return for my honest unbiased opinion. Secondly, thanks to DC publishing, who are usually very stingy when it comes to granting NetGalley requests for Canadian readers…but I’m very glad that I got approved this time.

Grayson, of course, is a book about the original Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson. Without a doubt the best Robin ever, the only Nightwing ever, and the best Batman not named Bruce Wayne (it’s a short list, but when Bruce was MIA in time and thought dead, Dick kept Batman alive and well, and invigorated).

If you recall, Forever Evil, the story event where the Crime Syndicate came to Earth from Earth 3, the Justice League was pretty much wiped out, and Nightwing was captured, unmasked, and appeared to die on TV screens across the planet. However, if you also recall, one of the most emotionally moving moments in the New 52, Batman put everything else aside for once, and saved Dick, his former protege, and arguably, best friend. However, Dick no longer had the secret identity to continue on, and with the majority of the world thinking him dead, (including many superheroes, and even the rest of the Bat Family (even Alfred!)) he joined up with Spyral, a superpowered spy agency.

Spyral feels like the agency from the old UK show the Prisoner, with everyone having a number, the Spiral being a common motif, as well as the unknown nature of who to trust and if this is good or bad. I personally like the idea, but only became familiar with Spyral during Batman Inc., when the original Batwoman, Kathy Kane, appeared in the Batcave and told Batman to end his war against Leviathan and his forces. I think Dick might also have been there…

Anyhow, Dick is partnered with Helena Bertinelli, the former Huntress, also thought dead by the world…(the Huntress who appears in New 52 is actually Helena Wayne, from Earth 2, borrowing Bertinelli’s identity. I really loved seeing the 2 paired together, they work quite well as a team. Her cover is that of “Matron” who runs a girls finishing school for assassins and spies. Dick is later forced to act as a gay gymnastic teacher at the school after his presence is discovered by the girls, who crush on him big time. it’s nice to see the humour returned to Dick, who quips that he loves being chased by college girls.

We get to see a few missions that Dick (Agent 37) goes on with Helena, and it makes perfect sense that his acrobatic training, his work alongside Batman, and his desire to fight evil would be a perfect way to have him recruited by the spy agency. We don’t know at first, but later discover that Dick is in contact with someone named “Mr. Malone” who all good Bat readers will know….wink wink. I liked that touch, because it didn’t spell it out for you, but you pretty well knew if you’ve read enough Batman. A cool moment for sure, and the contact between Mr. Malone and Dick is some of the best stuff in this book, and gave me a case of the feels, and even a laugh.

Spyral itself is confusing, because they know who Batman really is, as well as a couple of other Supes (Cyborg, Flash, Aquaman) and they plan to know more so they can have that power over them. The agency is so secretive that Dick doesn’t even know the identity of his boss, because they use nanobots to obscure his face even in person, in a Spiral pattern no less…the missions are interesting enough, and we see that Dick’s unwillingness to kill ends up costing lives of other people, and I look forward to seeing how the follow that up.

One of the biggest highlights for me was the arrival of another character, who I love, and who actually began as a Batman parody…the Midnighter! Turns out, he’s been keeping an eye on what Spyral is up to, and it has him cross paths with Dick, and they end up in a obvious fight…duh, but that being said, it was very cool that Midnighter is given a secondary role here, trying to stop Spyral, which leads Dick to question the agency’s purposes and motives even more than before. We even see Apollo come and try to get Midnighter to come back to Stormwatch, and leave things alone…

In conclusion, for a new series from DC New 52, I had high hopes, but also know that the track record hasn’t been great. That being said, most of the Bat Family titles have been the successful parts of the experiment, and Grayson follows that trend. Dick is easily the most well known Bat Family member other than the Bats himself, and there’s no way DC would have let us suffer too long without him, and I also feel like if Dick had actually died, so soon after Damian, that Would have been too much. Happily, we get a brand new Dick series, and with it, freedom to expand and explore the core of who the character is, and what changes he will undergo. Add to that a pairing with Helena Bertinelli, who is a very good partner for Dick, and you’ve got the makings of a fun, enjoyable, series with just enough humour to avoid the plague of “gritty” that infects too many DC titles.

I look forward to following this series closely, and will jump on Volume 2 as soon as it shows up. Hopefully the new Convergence event won’t kill this series…

Thanks again to NetGalley for the ARC.


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Review: Secret Origins Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire

Secret Origins Vol. 1 (The New 52)Secret Origins Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The only reason to read any of these Secret Origin stories, is if your are somehow unfamiliar with the characters.
Not only are the origins not Secret, they aren’t very interesting.
Somehow, I thought that because they were coming out with this Origin volume, I was going to learn something new, or maybe there might be a fresh twist on things.
Nope.
I’ll save you some time.
If you already read comic books, you’ve heard these stories before.
And, honestly, there are better versions of them out there.
Starfire and Harley Quinn were the only ones that haven’t been done to death.
Does that make them great?
No.
But at least I wasn’t rolling my eyes through either of them.
Superman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman were the only characters with stories that felt like the authors even tried to bring some kind of emotion to the table. I’m not saying they were AWESOME. I’m just saying it felt like they tried.
Green Arrow/Oliver Queen is just more we-like-the-tv-show crap, but if you’re into that, it won’t piss you off.
Batman, Batwoman, and Damien’s origins were all unbelievably regurgitated. Nothing was new.
NOTHING.
Red Robin (Drake), Robin (Grayson), and Supergirl, however, rounded out the bottom of the barrel.
I hated all of these guys by the time their issues were done.
Remember when Batman tracked Dick Grayson down and begged him to be his partner?
Yeah, me neither.
And evidently Tim Drake was super excited to partner up with Batman after he caused his poor parents to end up in witness protection.
Mom? Dad? I know I ruined your lives, but Brucey is gonna adopt me now, so…Laters! Enjoy looking over your shoulders for the rest of your (probably very short) lives!
Really? Drake comes off like a total douche. Normally, I like his character quite a bit, so…Thanks!
Supergirl.
*sigh*
One minute she’s fighting a Kryptonian dinosaur, and the next she’s (maybe) starting a war with North Korea over some of their astronauts that she saved.
Yeah. I know that nothing in that sentence made sense.

This isn’t awful, it’s just unnecessary.
It might make a nice gift for people who are just getting into DC characters, but I wouldn’t personally be thrilled to find this under my Christmas tree.

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