After deep-reaching emotional #3, Grayson #4 coaxes readers back to fun and fancy with a an easy story about college kids and eye candy.
The issue opens up with a three-page summary of a Spyral mission–the second most serious moment in the whole twenty pages. It concisely sums up Grayson and Bertinelli executing a successful mission, and shuffles quickly over to the important stuff: St. Hadrian’s Finishing School girls ogling stolen photos of “prime Holly BEEFCAKE” Dick Grayson. They decide that a “man-ty raid” is in order, and the story centers entirely on the four students chasing a shirtless Agent 37 around campus.
As always, Seeley’s writing is fun and natural, but the camp in this issue is cranked up to eleven. After the major, fridge-licious downer in the last issue, the team is playing hard to remind readers that this comic is fun. But Seeley maintains a balance too, tempering the candy-coated frolic with a subplot regarding Batman, Mr. Minos, and the dangerous line that Grayson is walking between one identity and the next. The subplot (as well as a few smart expositional moments) makes a point to cast Grayson’s current career in the light of his past one, creating a nostalgia and tension that pulls the tale back from the edge of silliness.
That said, this tale is certainly not hungry for eye candy for the readers either. Janin’s artwork is lovely as ever–leaning towards the realistic, but fully enjoying the expressiveness and slapstick moments that drawn medium affords him. Men and women are all affectionately drawn, shirtless, costumed, or wrapped up in a sweater and tie. But Janin doesn’t slack on the portraits either. Even with five new faces, the characters are distinct, lively, and endearing.
Grayson still seems to be looking for it’s “big story”, but these fresh stories will still collect in a very fun volume-one trade paperback. Curiosity beckons, though: will the creative team continue with this string of episodic stories, bound together by a thin thread of espionage? Or should we start itching for a more traditional story arc come Grayson #6? December brings #5 and an annual focusing on the secret origins of Grayson’s tough-love co-star Helena Bertinelli; we’ll see if they reveal anything about where the series is headed.
Writer: Tim Seeley (http://timseeleyart.blogspot.com/)
Art: Mikel Janin (http://www.mikeljanin.com/)
Colors: Jeromy Cox (http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Jeromy_Cox/Colourist)
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual (http://www.dccomics.com/tags/carlos-m-mangual)
Image courtesy of DC Comics
Upstate New York writer, reviewer and comics creator. For dates for “crying about robots”, “crying about Batman”, or “crying about jean jackets”, please check your local venue for the show near you!