Monday, September 28, 2015

Grayson #12


It's been one year since DC began publishing their best comic book and, somehow, they've yet to cancel it! Good job, DC Comics! And people say, often and quite loudly, how you can't do anything right! Well you hold your chin up high on this one! Just ignore all that shit people are throwing at you for cancelling The Omega Men and keeping Eddie Berganza on staff to ruin all of the Superman and Wonder Woman books. Don't let them ruin this minor and fleeting moment of feeling proud of yourself! You earned it!

Okay, that's enough. Don't get cocky. Go fix all the broken shit now. How about getting Batwoman back in monthly form with the Marguerites on writing and drawing? How is that not a thing that everybody on staff hasn't already snapped their fingers and yelled "Eureka!" about?

Page one. Page fucking one and my eyes are tearing up. Forget about Dick Grayson and how well Tom King and Tim Seeley get him, how well they write this kid. They're putting everybody whose written Alfred since The New 52 to shame in seven panels! Granted, Alfred has had some great moments thanks to Tomasi and Snyder. I'm not going to compare their efforts with what Tim and Tom have done right out of the gate here. Obviously this portrayal of Alfred is better though because it's more recent and affecting me right this moment!

I am literally figuratively standing up and applauding right now.

Before I continue with what will probably break my heart, let me give a quick review of Under the Red Hood! I'll get to Jason Todd's portrayal in a moment but first I want to say how impressed I was with the overall script. And not just the script but the animation as well. One of my favorite parts was when Nightwing first appears to help Batman take down Amazo. It's incredible how much character work was done just in the difference of the way Batman and Nightwing move around the battlefield. As for Jason Todd, this movie nails the character. This was the best version of Red Hood I've seen (of course, I've really only read Lobdell's versions of him so that isn't a shock). But not only is it easily the best I've seen, it's how I feel he should be portrayed. This movie allowed me to see the Jason Todd Jason Todd fans have deluded themselves into believing Lobdell's Jason Todd still is. How can anybody at DC not watch this movie and realize that Scott Lobdell doesn't know the character at all and is completely fucking up some really interesting and dark stories about this kid? I'd love a Red Hood book based on Under the Red Hood Jason Todd. Come on, DC Comics! I told you to stop gloating about Grayson surviving a full year. Fix Red Hood already before I start whipping batteries at you!

Dick and Bruce have an awkward conversation. It's hard having a conversation with someone you truly love who doesn't remember who you are. I remember speaking with my grandmother on the phone near the end of her life after her memory had really started to go. She'd occasionally ask, "Who am I talking to?" And in an effort to make sure I was not sad, or that I was okay, after being told who I was, she would remind me that she loved me very much. I don't know if she had any real connection to that love or just understood that she probably once loved me or, having a moment of clarity, she actually experienced that love. I suppose it made very little difference. Even at the end when she wasn't all there, she was the kindest, most giving, sweetest person I ever knew.

Dick simply wants to know if Bruce is happy. Bruce doesn't know if he's happy but he mentions to Dick how, at certain times when things are still and quiet, he feels joy. I bet all Bruce is going to feel when he gets his memory back is anger that nobody slapped him in the face and screamed, "You're Batman, asshole! Get to fucking work!" Especially after he sees how sales have dropped on Batman with Commissioner Gordon over there ruining the franchise!

Bruce seems to remember the bat crashing through the window and changing his entire life because he mentions that those moments of joy when he hears tapping at the window are nice "as long as the window holds." Somewhere inside his head, he seems to know that his peace and happiness will last only as long as he stays out from under the shadow of the bat. Man, I can't wait until he's miserable again!

Dick and Bruce's conversation is interrupted by a Spyral agent (probably Agent Zero Netz judging by her hair and red boots and crazy web-panel layouts) crashing through the window and shooting a tranquilizer dart into Bruce's neck.

Spyral wants Dick. Spyral doesn't want Dick. Spyral wants Dick. Spyral is like my first girlfriend.

After tea with Bruce, Dick heads out to let Jason Todd and Tim Drake know that he's still alive. Todd takes Dick how Todd takes everything: the hard way! Har har!

Dick takes Todd and Tim's abuse and accusations in stride because he plays the role of big brother well. He shouldered the responsibility of the lie he knew would hurt them because that's just the job of the big brother. He also brings gifts because that usually shuts up little brothers. He brings them Batman's original two batarangs. I bet they're actually Numbers Two and Three! I bet Maps has the original now!

Before Dick leaves, he tells Tim and Jason to "Break it" in his Cluemaster code. Does he mean the Batman Duplication Machine? Or the batarangs? Or the cycle of abusing young boys by sending them into dangerous situations?!

Next Dick has to go see Babs. He gives her a gift as well although it's not the one I was hoping he would give her (hint: it rhymes with his name. No wait. It's exactly his name). He also tells her to "Break it" in code. Probably the gift then. He must have left fortune cookie messages in the gifts.

Now kiss!

Finally, Dick goes to see Damian. I bet Damian kills him! Or else he'll be the most understanding! Maybe he'll do that thing kids do where he'll be all, "I totally knew you weren't dead. Duh! I wasn't fooled, you idiot."

Actually, I'd forgotten about Dick not knowing Damian was back! So they're both surprised to find the other alive and it's really sweet.

These two are the best together.

After Dick leaves, the others break open their gifts to find the fortune cookie messages inside directing them to do a few things for him. The others are tasked with breaking into Spyral's Hypnos system so that Dick has control over the Hypnos himself. He then communicates with them in that way that Jack Donaghy communicates with people on the phone and in person at the same time by making sure all of his responses work for both conversations. The others work the back-end while Dick talks with Agent Zero. Once her Hypnos are decrypted, she's revealed to be Luka Netz, Agent Zero. I guess she's simply the Reboot version of Kathy Kane since making it Kathy Kane might be a bit weird for continuity, no matter how non-continuity minded a person might be.

Grayson #12 Rating: +2 Ranking. This has been the best comic book DC publishes even with Dick Grayson alone and cut off from the Batfamily. And now he's back in contact with his family and doing the super-spy thing with their help instead of just Batman's? Jesus Christ, guys! Now you're just embarrassing the competition! It's like a kid's t-ball game that's gone out of control and nobody is stopping the winning team from running up the score. You've already KO'd your opponent and now you're taking a dump on their chest! Chill the fuck out! Do you want all of the other comic books to stop being bought?! Give them some hope! If I were Scott Snyder, I'd really start rethinking that whole thing with Commissioner Gordon being Batman right now. I'd be changing up my next script right now! Bruce Wayne would be back in the cowl immediately before nobody cares about Batman anymore and Grayson becomes DC's most iconic character! Shit, I wouldn't be surprised if it's inevitable at this point.

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