Yay! Superman is finally going to be written well!
Of course I forgive you, Grayson Annual #2! Especially since you've allowed Superman to join you. He's been having a tough time lately where he's been written like a total jackass. He'll probably be hardly recognizable in this issue! People will probably read it and think, "Who is that compassionate man full of patience and why is he wearing a Superman t-shirt? Is it a clone of Dick Grayson? I am confused!"
The issue begins several years ago when Dick Grayson was still Robin. Blockbuster has been rampaging down the East Coast from Metropolis to Gotham (which is a pretty short rampage, really. Like one bridge or something) and it's now up to Batman and Robin to stop him. Or to help stop him. I'm sure Superman didn't just shoo Blockbuster out of Metropolis and return to the coffee shop to finish his article on dirty local restaurants.
Don't worry, Superman. You can remind Batman of this conversation in a few years when Gotham is destroyed at the end of Batman Eternal. And then again after Endgame. It won't be very satisfying though because Batman is an Actually Nerd and will point out that, technically, it was his enemies who destroyed the city while trying to destroy him. You'll just have to be satisfied with the knowledge that you know Batman is just as culpable as The Joker when The Joker takes out his frustration on Gotham and its citizens.
Batman ends his lecture about Superman by saying "He is most certainly not 'just a guy.'" So this story is called "Just a Guy" because Batman is sometimes wrong no matter how many times DC tells their fans that Batman isn't ever wrong and he's the greatest super hero to ever live and he could defeat Superman because he's so smart even though every comic book fan knows Superman would have to be a complete idiot to not be able to beat Batman. So in other news, DC Comics believes that Superman is a complete idiot. That's not breaking news to people who have been reading Superman since The New 52 began.
The story jumps forward in time to just before Dick leaves Gotham after letting his Bat-Siblings know he isn't really dead. He's putting the Spyral back in his eye and he's ready for some good old fashioned spy adventures.
The whimsical attitude Tim and Tom have given to the Spyral Organization is a nice touch. Unless Morrison already had that as a feature. Who can remember? I mean, I can't remember. I know a bunch of you nerds out there will remind me.
The only thing about the previous scene that would have made me love it better was if Superman's identity were still secret and hearing this guy speak his name was the cause of Superman dropping Dick. Anyway, great moment. Dick saves himself while Superman flips the fuck out about having probably just killed some guy. Dick turns off his hypnos and let's Superman know it's his old pal Robin!
This is how a compassionate person reacts to finding out somebody they loved wasn't really dead. You can be a dick to them later over coffee when you bring up how fucked up the whole faking your death thing was.
The reunion is interrupted by The Fist of Cain because they want to earn points for killing an alien. Everybody knew Superman was an alien before all this shit went down, right? Lois's article must have really played up the part about how he was losing his powers and he's totally vulnerable to being killed now. She's the worst!
Dick learns more about what's happened to Superman during the brawl, like how he's no longer faster than a speeding bullet and also how that speeding bullet can hurt him. He also learns that bit about Lois being a real jerk! Although I still think Lois did the absolutely right thing with HORDR_ROOT trying to use Superman's secret against him. I think she just panicked and did it before talking it over with Clark. They could have come up with a plan that left everybody feeling happy and secure instead of fearful and ignorant.
I wonder if that's how Dick used to describe Batman?
Batman has the same problem with his sidekicks.
Yes! Mellow at best! When is the last time we've seen Mellow Superman?! Okay, that time he stopped the guy with the gun in the alley while he had no powers. But he only did that because he had no powers! He should be acting that way even with powers!
The Fist of Cain goons are sucking down some Venomade while they fight so they aren't as easy to defeat as Dick thought they would be. Although the woman biker was taken out by Dick turning off his Hypnos and flashing her a smile. I guess she wasn't a lesbian. Or smart. But then, none of these Fist of Cain goons seem very smart. And they just keep getting dumber because the next Fist of Cain member they meet is their newest recruit: Blockbuster! Superman ghost rides the motorcycle (actually named "Lana" for probably psychosexual reasons) with a Spyral bomb on it into Blockbuster. Dick and Clark get away in the chaos of the explosion to find some way to defeat Blockbuster. It can't be too hard to do. Batman has been known to do it and he's no better at fighting bad guys than Dick Grayson! Although he's way better at fighting bad guys than depowered Superman.
Clark once wrote a bio on Blockbuster for The Daily Planet so he reminds everybody about Rob Liefeld's story in Hawk and Dove #6! Oh such good times!
Superman has an idea! Maybe Dick Grayson, partner to Batman for hardly any time at all, can build one of those Hypothalamus Inhibitors that Batman used on Blockbuster during the encounter told at the beginning of this comic book. Surely Dick Grayson learned about electronics and gadgets and car engines during that time, right?
Sure you're just a guy, Dick! But Batman is just a guy too! It's just he's a guy with Lucius Fox's phone number!
Superman wants to call in help from Lex Luthor. But Dick Grayson has integrity! He would never be caught working for a criminal like Lex! Unless Batman asked him to nicely and he was just working undercover and he had an opportunity to bang a bunch of hot college girls. I think it's okay then.
Seriously though, Lucius Fox would be an easier call to make.
Clark and Dick subdue all the now depowered bad guys and leave them for Commissioner Batman to pick up. All that's left is for Superman to say goodbye to Grayson in a way that I can't really be snarky about.
Although I can bitch about Alfred having two hands. I bet Lucius Fox built the new one for him!