Dick Grayson has had a pretty interesting couple of years. He had his identity exposed, he faked his death, he went undercover as an international super-spy in an organization dedicated to finding out other heroes' secret identities and weaknesses, and he even taught a few classes in gymnastics. But for Batman's first partner, that's the superheroic equivalent of going off to college.
Now, he's donning the mask once again and returning to his former codename, and with Nightwing: Rebirth on shelves this week, ComicsAlliance spoke to writer Tim Seeley about the challenge of moving Dick back into his familiar identity, the metaphor behind his return to Gotham City, and just why it is that the first arc of the new series is called "Better Than Batman."
Dick Grayson has done it all. He was in the circus. He was the first Robin. He’s the reason almost every superhero had to have a kid sidekick. He started his own super-team with his friends. He broke away from Batman and became his own hero, and took over for his mentor and became Batman.More than once. He’s been a good cop in a bad city. He’s died and come back as a super-spy. And now, with DC Rebirth in full swing, he’s set to slip back into the black and blue and become Nightwing once again!
Oh, and if you haven’t been on the internet, he also has the unquestioned, best butt in comics. So, yeah, as you might have guessed there’s a lot of fan art of him floating (or flipping, spinning, and swinging) around out there on the internet.
To say that Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin are a hard act to follow is putting things mildly. In a year and a half on Grayson, they took the concept of the original Robin going undercover as a super-spy and made it one of DC's best titles, exploring strange, sinister corners of the DC Universe. When Grayson #18 hits shelves, however, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly and Roge Antonio are stepping up to the plate for the next three issues ahead of the DC Rebirth relaunch of Nightwing, and it's their goal to take things to an even greater extreme.
To find out more, ComicsAlliance spoke to Lanzing and Kelly about what defines Dick Grayson as a character, their approach to building the biggest story that they can, and how they finally hit the book's limit of shirtless sexiness.
In case you haven't heard yet, I'm afraid I've got some bad news. With DC's impending Rebirth event slouching fearfully over the horizon, it seems that the era of Dick Grayson, Agent 37 is coming to an end. On one level, that's certainly a letdown, but it's also pretty exciting to see what the next two issues bring.
With the book on the way out, it seems that there are no limits to what might happen - which is how you get to an issue where Grayson and Tiger are on the run, fighting both TAO, from Alan Moore and Travis Charest's Wildcats, and Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke's Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE, at the same time. Check out an exclusive preview of next week's Grayson #17, by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Carmine Di Giancomenico, and Jeromy Cox, and get stoked!
Ever since it launched, Grayson has been defined by blending the bizarre extremes of espionage action with the even more bizarre extremes of a superhero universe full of villains with guns for eyes and mind-altering hypno-contacts, and as you might expect, it's the latter that gets most of the attention. This is, after all, a spy story set in a world of masks and capes, and there are certain expectations that the genre brings with it.
This week, though, Tom King, Tim Seeley, Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox have taken things in a decidedly more spy-inspired --- or inspyred --- direction. Not only do we get a cover that evokes the beautiful opening of A View To A Kill, and a five-page sequence of Dick Grayson singing a song that sounds an awful lot like the theme from Goldfinger, but, in case you missed it, Dick Grayson just kicked a very familiar face.
In his 75-year career as a superhero, Dick Grayson has been a lot of things. He's been a circus acrobat, Robin, Nightwing, Batman, a Teen Titan, a member of the Justice League, Batman again, and he's been a world-traveling super-spy charged with bringing down some of the strangest threats that the DC Universe. But more than that, today's Dick Grayson is something else. Something more. Something that inspires us all in a way that few other super-heroes do. He is an exceptionally good-looking man.
That, more than anything else, came to define him over the past year, and now, before we move inexorably into the future, we look back at how Dick Grayson had the handsomest year ever.
This week marked the start of DC's Robin War event, in which children dressed as birds will presumably battle each other with consequences far more dire than that description might suggest. But while we wait to see who will survive and what will be left of them, now's a pretty good chance to catch up on the history of Batman's sidekick.
Fortunately for us, there's a big Robin sale going on at Comixology, with a ton of great stuff from the character's long history, covering everything from the Silver Age Teen Titans to the modern super-spy adventures of Grayson. If you need a place to start, read on and let me be your guide!
This week DC kicks off the crossover event story "Robin War" in a comic book entitled, appropriately enough, Robin War #1. The storyline will wind through this month's issues of Grayson, Detective Comics, We Are Robin and Robin: Son of Batman, while this month's issues of Gotham Academy, Red Hood/Arsenal and Teen Titans will all tie-in to the events of the storyline. It all wraps up in next month's Robin War #2.
To help you tell your Red Robin from your Red Hood, and your Robin, singular, from your The Robins, plural, we've assembled a handy guide to the major players in "Robin War"...
I don't have a whole lot of OTPs, but Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are right there at the top of the list. They're two characters who have felt made for each other since the first time I saw them together, and even when they're not romantically entangled --- which is pretty frequently the case for characters that I always picture together --- and even when I don't actually want to see them romantically involved, which happens almost as often, their interactions always have a sense of history that makes them compelling and interesting.
It's that interaction that takes center stage in this week's Batgirl #45, a character piece about two people whose lives have been pulled in drastically different directions and who don't know if they'll ever have the same connection that they once did. And it's one of the best takes on their relationship that I've ever read.
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