By Shawn Perry
Grayson #3 picked up exactly where Grayson: Future's End left off…by being the best darn comic book I am currently collecting! For the benefit of those new to the fold, Grayson has shed his vigilante identity and is now working under his true name as a double agent for the Spyral organization…or so it appears.
[*Spoilers for Grayson #3 below!]
Every mission that Grayson has been tasked with as a member of Spyral thus far has somehow involved capturing someone with meta-human abilities. This time is no different and it's plain to see that the Spyral organization has a vested interest in controlling the meta-human population…but more on that later. One of my favorite parts of this issue is where Grayson is tasked with capturing his target while said target is taking a piss in a public urinal. In a touch of class Grayson makes sure the guy is just about finished before he pulls him through a hundred-story window while the two are attached to a helicopter piloted by his partner, Helena Bertinelli.
The sexual tension between Grayson and Bertinelli has been high over the past couple issues, however, this issue sees Dick working with a new partner who ends up playing a significant role in what is altogether another very strong issue that features fantastic art by Jeremy Cox and the uber-talented Mikel Janin. Here's hoping the-powers-that-DC locks this quadrant down for a while as I really like where this series is going.
Once again, writers Tom King and Tim Seeley prove that they have the skill to bring Dick Grayson to life with this new status quo in a way that makes you not miss the mask at all. After taking a one-month break from the main storyline for last month's Futures End One-Shot, which was quite awesome by the way, this issue consists of Grayson and his gun-toting coworkers at Spyral facing off against a target known as The Old Gun.
The Old Gun is a riff on classic 80's villains who has had his ocular nerve surgically connected to dual pistols after a horrible accident so he now sees solely through his guns. The incident involved a school shooting that took the lives of his two sons, his eyeballs and his sense of irony. He affectionately refers to his guns as his "boys."
In order to take this guy down Dick and Helena are partnered with two fellow agents: someone who will probably play a big role in a later issue (Agent 1) and a beautiful blonde from Smallville (Agent 8) who plays a big role in this issue. It has been a long time since Grayson has gotten some play on-panel in the New 52, not since Nightwing #2 if I am not mistaken so long as we exclude last month's Future's End which I sincerely doubt is ever going to come to pass, but it only takes three pages for him to remind everyone what his name is…
C'mon, you knew it was coming, its practically old news.
Agent 8, or Alia, is a smart and beautiful spy who hits Dick's life like a lightning bolt and is gone before the thunderclap. Poor guy must be getting tired of that metaphor. Alia eloquently represents the logical argument against Dick's moral crisis – that murdering people in the name of the greater good is permissible because the world is a dangerous place – but in the end her fate is to reinforce his values in tragedy. Consequentialism just does not hold up in the reality of a comic book vacuum.
Let me put it to you this way, Alia gets fridged pretty obviously…I mean, being crucial to a really strong story so it kind of leaves all those lingering post-feminist issues benign. Well, I don't know, sort of. Anyways, overall this is another solid read in King and Seeley's exciting new take on Dick Grayson. We even get a nice cliffhanger: at the end of the issue it is revealed that Grayson's covert conversations with Bruce – alias Birdwatcher and Mr. Malone – have not gone unnoticed by Spyral and although Bats has managed to keep the content of their communication encrypted, it is clear that Helena suspects Dick and that the-powers-that-be in Spyral are more than a few steps ahead of him as the big-bad with a spiral for a head cryptically states at the end of the issue: "all will be unmasked."
Shawn Perry is a proud geek striving to be here now. He currently resides in East Hartford, Connecticut. Tweet him @thesperry and email him at Shawn.Perry88@gmail.com.