Review: Grayson #4

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...

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.

Grayson #4

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

Ten Van Winkle – Contributing Writer

Ten Van Winkle reads, reviews, and creates comics in Ithaca, New York. These (along with chewing her pens, drinking too much caffeine, and dodging sleep) are bad habits she’s trying to keep in check.
Find me at: Tumblr, Twitter
Categories
DC
Ten Van Winkle

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!

RELATED BY

  • Batman and Robin Eternal #13

    True to its cover, Batman and Robin Eternal #13 reveals a great deal of secrets about Mother, her Children, and especially Cassandra Cain, and why she is helping Dick...
  • Black Canary #6 Review

    Truth be told, I was pretty much set on Black Canary being the best monthly title of 2015 by the third issue, but with Annie Wu’s return on interiors,...
  • Robin Son of Batman #7 Review

    Robin, Son of Batman #7 Plot by Patrick Gleason Dialogue by Ray Fawkes Pencils by Scott McDaniel Inks by Andy Owens Colors by Chris Sotomayor Letters by Tom Napolitano...
  • Batman & Robin Eternal #12 Review

    Batman & Robin Eternal may seem like an odd title to pick out to be a moment for sober reflection, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that this is the...