Did nobody brief John Romita Jr. on the characters he was doing covers for? Because who decided his covers of Grayson and Batman should have them using firearms? I suppose this one is okay because the only way Dick could be holding and firing that thing with one arm is if it were a Nerf gun. Which it must be.
This issue is called "Second Coming" so I guess Dick and Helena are finally going to fuck. Twice!
Besides being a euphemism for successfully having sex twice, "The Second Coming" is also a poem by William Butler Yeats. It's a poem that used to have a bunch of lines that I truly loved until every nerd decided it was their spirit poem. I blame Heroes for using it. Now I'm blaming this comic book as well. The problem with Yeats' poetry is that you need a fucking Masters Degree in Yeats to truly understand any of it. "The Second Coming" might be his least inscrutable poem. Although I can't say for sure since I don't have a Master's Degree in Yeats! So when he mentions that rough beast slouching toward wherever, what does he really mean? Is it an allusion to Revelations? Or is it a symbol that he created and then infused with many meanings throughout his decades of writing poetry? Is the falcon and the falconer line quoted in Grayson's first panel a metaphor for mankind and God or is the falcon one of Yeats self-made mythic symbols that means something else entirely?! How the heck should I know?!
Helena Bertinelli's mind has been taken over by Doctor Daedalus. He took that name because he's the architect of the labyrinth that is Spyral. Probably. He may have also taken it for another reason. Like maybe his parents actually named him that and then he got a PhD. He's also crazy and has Alzheimer's so who really knows the reason for anything he does.
All of the crazy action that was taking place last issue is over because Midniter was called in. He's a problem solver! Now the only thing Dick and Tiger and Lucas (if that's his real name!) have left to do is save Helena. Tiger points out that it's already too late because Tiger somehow knows that Spyral's main intent was to bring back Doctor Daedalus by using some other person as a vessel. I guess Number One was privy to that kind of information although it seems odd that the true intent of Spyral would be known to anybody besides the Netz sisters. Even Helena apparently didn't know about this turn of events!
Oh, okay. I guess that explains it! Higher allegiances! Like Allah or something?
Midniter takes off because if he stayed in the comic book helping Grayson, Checkmate wouldn't stand a chance. Tiger is off to kill Grayson and Helena because that's a good twist, I guess. I don't buy it though. Obviously this smacks of Character Arc Changing Course Due To A Change in Writers but what are you going to do? That's comic books! So while Tim and Tom were creating an enjoyable Buddy Road Picture Duo in Tiger and Dick, Jackson and Collin have decided it would be better to pull the Old Double Agent Ruse. Also, Maxwell Lord isn't very good at chess because even though he's the Black King, he can't help but think of himself as The Lord of the game board. He does know that's not a piece in chess, right? Or is it? Does the King become the Lord if it can kill and drink the blood of six pawns?
I hope you're also good at keeping your turban out of your rocket pack engine!
Doctor Daedalus continues quoting "The Second Coming" later on a train in Germany with the whole best lacking all conviction and worst full of passionate intensity line that I so often hear people full of passionate intensity quoting for some reason. Probably because they're the worst at understanding things. Of course, I'm the best because I'm so apathetic! That's what that means, right?
Blah, blah, blah, more Yeats poetry shoved into the story like a puzzle piece that doesn't quite fit. Who will our savior be? Is it Daedalus? Grayson? Tyger, Tyger, burning bright? No wait. Sorry. Wrong weirdo. I mean visionary!
Dick and Tiger race each other toward Helena to either kill her or do it with her. I hope the doing it with her guy gets there first! Which he will because I already read the title of this story, remember?!
Later it's revealed that Maxwell Lord was funding Spyral or something and that they've always been a subsidiary of Checkmate because SPIES! Also because it's a surprise twist that sort of takes the place of an actual story. Most people won't even notice it doesn't make any sense because SPIES! This is what spies do! There's also a dumb riddle about kings being pawns and pawns being queens. Was that a part of Yeats' poem too?
Back to the Tiger-Grayson bout, Grayson doesn't kill Tiger when he causes him to be hit by an avalanche. I know, I know! You're thinking, "Fucking fuckholes! Dick just killed Tiger!" Because what are the odds of surviving an avalanche? They're not great, right? But don't worry! Tiger says, "You think an avalanche will kill me, Grayson?!" And Grayson is all, "I'm saving you, dumb dumb!" So never mind how Tiger survives. Just know that he did because he said he would and Dick said he wasn't trying to kill him. Thank goodness for explication or this might have been a moment full of awful ambiguity!
With Spyral all but dismantled, the Netz sisters dead, and Checkmate thwarted, all that's left is for Dick to confront Doctor Daedalus and save Helena. Unless somebody wants to write an epilogue where the Skull Girls masturbate furiously to erotic fanfiction of their acrobatics instructor, Jacques de Constamment. I wouldn't mind ten or twelve pages on that.