Series Squee: Grayson

Who wrote this series?

Grayson was a series primarily created by the writer duo of Tim Seeley and Tom King with art primarily by Mikel Janin, colors by Jeromy Cox, and letters by Carlos M. Mangual. There are other writer and artist teams across this series, most notably for the final arc once the main workers were placed on other DC books. We’ll get to them in a minute since naming them will be going in hand with me fussing about them.

What’s this series about?

Following the Forever Evil event that took place across several DC books back in 2013/2014, Dick Grayson’s identity as Nightwing was revealed to the world. As a result of that identity crisis, Dick Grayson goes undercover to hide his connection to Batman/Bruce Wayne at St. Hadrian’s, a private finishing school for female supervillains and spies first seen in Batman, Incorporated. So Dick winds up doing double duty as a spy and as a teacher to the next generation of spies, all going along with Dick’s globetrotting adventures as an agent of the mysterious SPYRAL.

If you could recommend this series to any fictional character, celebrity or historical figure, who would you choose?

James Bond.

I would make James Bond read it.

Oh-

Wait.

No.

Ian Fleming. I would make Ian Fleming read this before he wrote James Bond. So he could know what the future of spy comics would bring and know that he’s partially responsible for Grayson.

List three of your favorite things about the series.

  • This series really does reinvent some of the established characters and tropes associated with both the DC Universe and with spy comics.
  • Grayson introduces a racebent and Black Helena Bertinelli that remains one of the series’ best characters across seventeen of its twenty main issues.
  • The art is really pretty and everyone is ridiculously attractive.

List three of your least favorite things about the series.

  • The last four issues. Honestly, those last four issues were my least favorite issues of a comic series ever. Like there’s not a whole lot to love about the switch to Lansing and Kelly, that’s for sure.
  • Dick should’ve gotten kissed more in this series. Just… saying. Like you have Midnighter and Apollo in this fucking book and they don’t kiss Dick? Or each other. Okay. If you’re sure.
  • I didn’t see the point of the creepy doctor lady. She was gross and absolutely unnecessary. They could’ve come up with a completely different villain for the series and kept the creepy out.

What’s your favorite book in the series?

I adored the third annual for Grayson, “Who is Agent 37”, because of its multi-tiered storyline where a bunch of antiheroes try to figure out his identity. It’s a fun final romp for the series and one that almost made up for what I hated about its ending. Despite being headed up by the same dudes that pissed me off with how they wrapped up the series, it’s still a fun read and I liked the storytelling style. Like… why couldn’t this have been how they ended the series??

(But also #5 where Dick walks through the desert with a baby in order to save their life. It’s pretty much the most emotional point of the series for me.)

What’s your least favorite book in the series (if you have one)?

I hate-hate-hate the last three issues of Grayson. No offense to Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, I guess, but they ruined Grayson for me with an underwhelming, unsatisfying, and pointless conclusion to my favorite spy series since well… James Bond. ‘I thought that Grayson had tons of potential to spin off into a really interesting spy series that could ride on the waves of the reawakened popularity of James Bond post-Spectre. I’d thought that the relationship between Helena and Dick would’ve gone somewhere. I thought Tiger as a character would make sense.

I hated how they wrapped up the series and I’m mad at DC for letting them do it.

Who are your favorite characters in the series?

  • Dick Grayson. Obviously.
  • Midnighter.
  • Helena Bertinelli.
  • Tiger.

Who are your least favorite characters in the series?

  • Frau Netz
  • Mister Minos

Let’s talk about series’ romantic ships, both canon and fanon:

Do you have an OTP across the series? What do you like about them?

I have a handful of ships in this series that are really important to me. Most of them involve Dick Grayson because he was my (and fandom’s) bicycle and he was shipped with pretty much everyone at some point or another. I’m a major multishipper and into polyamorous ships though, so I can probably swing most ships for this fandom if I tried.

My main Grayson ships are Dick/Helena, Midnighter/Dick, Dick/Tiger, and Dick/Tiger/Helena with some bones thrown to other ships like Midnighter/Dick/Apollo and Apollo/Midnighter.

I went with Dick/Helena as my OTP for the series because they had the best push-pull relationship across sixteen of the series twenty issues and there’s something so wonderful about a ship where a Black woman can be beloved.

Honestly, a main focus of my Grayson ships (though, accidentally) was this desire for characters of color to be centered. Dick Grayson is a “white passing” Romani character whose identity has never really been well handled or mentioned across his publication, but he absolutely counts as a character of color to me and I like stories where he gets the star front and center in romantic relationships.

If you have a NoTP in the series, why do you dislike them?

Alia and Tiger. Alia was “fridged” in the third issue and aside from that whole thing being annoying as hell, the thing with her and Tiger came out of nowhere. Aside from the heteronormativity too-present in comics, I couldn’t figure out why this was a thing?

(Also, technically Barbara/Dick thanks to Lanzing/Kelly’s final issues and how they ended the Dick/Helena relationship by having her be all “it’s not you, it’s me”/”I’m doing this for your own good” at him. Ugh.)

What is your favorite friendship in the series?

Midnighter and Dick Grayson. I’ve wanted them to interact for ages because I’m a huge fan of The Authority and I like the potential for friendship and fuckery with Midnighter being Gay Murder Batman ™ and also expressing interest in Dick. I like that they’re basically barely frenemies?? I want more of them.

Are there any characters that you just wish were friends?

Again, Tiger and Alia.

Any potential book datefriends/squishes/queer platonic peeps in this series?

I would date the fuck out of Dick Grayson.

And Helena.

And Tiger.

I want to be “Friends Who Punch People Together” with Midnighter.

If you could tell the author one thing about the series, what would you say?

Dear DC,

The original team should’ve stayed. They weren’t perfect and Grayson had problem, but at the end of the day they were telling an interesting set of stories that looked unlike a lot of what the canon had done with Dick before.

But once Grayson was finished, there should’ve been an Agents of SPYRAL series (seriously, I could still write it for y’all).

And I can’t stand the direction y’all have gone with Dick Grayson since this series ended.

UGH!

xoxo

gossip stitch

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About Zeenah

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
This entry was posted in Series Squee and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Series Squee: Grayson

  1. nutheadgee says:

    BRB reading this.

    Like

  2. nutheadgee says:

    BRB reading this.

    Like

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