Grayson Annual #3
(A Fun Ending…A New Beginning!)
As anyone who listens to The Before the Bat Podcast (@BeforetheBatPod) can attest, my favorite DC Comics character is Dick Grayson. And while I am excited beyond measure that his Nightwing identity is returning, I have throughly enjoyed the Grayson series. With the exception of one or two weeks, it was always my “pick of the week” on World’s Finest, the weekly DC Comics review portion of Before the Bat. But when I heard the “final” issue would be Grayson Annual #3, a one shot by a fill in team, I got a little nervous. I pictured a bridging issue where Dick Grayson would sit down and chat with his mentor, Batman, and then figure out who the “new” Nightwing would be. But then I read that the issue would have 4 or 5 different guest stars from all corners of the DC Universe. My hopes for the quality of this issue sank, until I read it. This issue was a jam packed, fun, action fest. And like the best ride in the amusement park, I didn't want it to stop when it got to the end. Didn’t read it? Here are some of my favorite parts:
This was one of the parts I was really worried about. Was Harley just added to this issue for a gratuitous sales boosting appearance? In some hands, in my opinion, Harley is overdone as an oversexed bad girl. But I enjoyed her appearance here more than any recent appearance I can remember, maybe my favorite since the New 52 started in 2011. I found theflirty teamwork between Grayson and Harley cute and fun, and had me wondering, could a relationship or at least an ongoing team up book between these two work? Either way it was a fun ride of a heist film!
Probably the team up I was looking forward to the most, I’m a big fan of Constantine. I cohost an all things Constantine podcast named the Newcastle Crew Podcast (@NewcastleCrew). Not only did a Constantine encounter give us an opportunity to pit Grayson against vampires, but the bisexual Constantine also provided the obligatory Grayson butt joke (why that’s a thing since this series started, I don't know). Part of the charm of this team up for me I think was it’s rarity, seeing as how Dick usually doesn't cross paths with Constantine in any of his various identities. Hopefully this tale will change that.
Another part I was excited for, Azrael has been a favorite part of the Batman mythos for me since he first appeared in 1992. After he reappeared in Batman and Robin Eternal, I was hoping for a character study that would remind me of the days of Denny O’Neil. While they only had a few short pages to work with, I think the writers gave us a great story that could be a launch pad for a new ongoing series for this character.
Green Lantern (Simon Baz)
I wasn't sure what kind of impact this character would make on me since he has seemed to be written somewhat inconsistently to me since his first appearance a few years ago. While he was still surly for the most part, I found the character portrayed here as very believable, I bought his motives and why he would cooperate with this ragtag group. Maybe we will see a future Nightwing/Green Lantern team up, another paring I really hadn't thought of until this issue. I particularly enjoyed Grayson’s battle with a Parademon!
Overall as I said, this was a fun and enjoyable issue, I particularly enjoyed the ending and the true identity of Jim Corrigan, which I won’t spoil here. It honored the tone of the Grayson series and stayed true to the character’s roots while being it’s own thing. In closing I just wanted to thank everyone involved in making this issue, especially the writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. I would love to talk to both of them about this issue and their thoughts on Grayson/Nightwing for my podcast. What did you think? A great sendoff for this version of the character? Let me know!
@Nightwingpdp or @worldsfinestpod on Twitter
You can hear me and my friends discuss all things DC Comics on The Before the Bat, Legends of DC, and Newcastle Crew podcasts. I also write another blog, True Believers where I discuss all things Marvel. You can find all of my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com. If you want one stop shopping for all of my creative endeavors, you can find it at www.philperich.wordpress.com.
Until next time, remember to stay true to yourself, no matter what you are wearing!