If I were more clever with my planning, I’d have made 52 the subject of today’s post, given that this is the fifty-second entry in Clearing the Backlog. But hey, at least I stumbled into talking about a DC book.
If you’re not familiar with Grayson, the book follows Dick Grayson, who has gone undercover as a spy after the Crime Syndicate outed him as Nightwing and Lex Luthor killed* and revived** him. In this volume, Dick splits his time between spyjinks and visiting Gotham to let his friends know he is still alive.
Themes of identity have been at the core of Grayson all along, but this volume seems to sew the seeds of the self-exploration at the core of Seeley’s current, Rebirth-era Nightwing run. Dick becomes disenchanted with the spy life for its impact on who he is and how he acts. Even when he returns to Gotham, his loved ones challenge his acceptance of Batman’s mission to infiltrate Spyral. Like previous volumes, Seeley and King maintain a sense of humor in the midst of double-crossing and anxiety—although here, even Dick’s sense of humor may become a liability.
Mikel Janín’s work on Grayson and Tom King's Batman have cemented him as one of my favorite comic artists. His lines are realistic and representational, and his detail work—combined with Jeromy Cox’s textured, moody colors—makes for absolutely stunning images, panel after panel.
I like the Grayson series quite a bit. I recommend it; but start at the beginning. If you have already read and enjoyed the first two arcs, I see no reason to stop. “Nemesis” does come with a little more connection to wider DC continuity, so if you aren’t familiar with what was going on with Batman and Superman at the time, parts of this trade might come as a bit of a surprise. But it’s easy enough to go with the flow for those issues.
*He got better.
**Told you so.
- Grayson, Vol. 3: Nemesis (#9-12, Annual #2)
Writers: Tim Seeley, Tom King | Artists: Mikel Janín, Hugo Petrus, Juan Castro, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez | Colorist: Jeromy Cox | Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual