Grayson #17. Writer- Tim Seeley, Plot by Tim Seeley & Tom King, Artist- Carmine Di Giandomenico, Colorist- Jeromy Cox.
This issue of Grayson, while picking up the story directly from last issue, feels a little off, and it may be because the team is trying to finish up quickly. There is a lot of exposition in some of the dialogue as Grayson and Tiger come face to face with some of the folks Helena has sent against them. Also, Grifter has TAO, profile Helena and perhaps reveals some intriguing possibilities about her and her past. This profiling seems like a quick way to get this information out there and one imagines it might have come off more effectively if it had been uncovered through a slower process. It all feels just a little rushed. Mikel Janin not drawing this issue is perhaps another indicator that this issue was rushed. The difference in style between Janin and Di Giandomenico also makes this issue of Grayson seem irregular.
In a Syndicate safe house, we see TAO getting the opportunity to profile Helena Bertinelli while in the jungles of Honduras, Frankenstein is on Grayson and Tiger’s trail. It’s clear that Frankenstein doesn’t really understand what’s going on, who Dick is or what he’s trying to accomplish. Though you’re pulling for Grayson, you don’t want to see Frankenstein get hurt in the process. With Max Lord and Checkmate’s help, Grayson and Tiger trap Frankenstein so they can get away, ensuring he’s not hurt.
Back at the safe house, TAO paints an interesting picture of who Helena is and her own goals for joining Spyral and apparently also trying to take it down from within. Grifter tracks Grayson and Tiger to Mexico City and subsequently gets all he can handle from Grayson. It’s a fun sequence that also reveals Grifter’s misunderstanding of what’s going on as well.
It also seems that as the final part of TAO’s profile, he has recommended killing Helena. And yes, Dick’s managed to get that out of Grifter as well.
It’s always nice to see the DCU version of Frankenstein. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. was one of the most unique titles in the original launch of the New 52. Grifter is in way over his head when he tries to take down Grayson, his little mind reading trick doesn’t do him much good. Grayson is not impressed with that or his “gravely tough guy” voice. Dick’s stature in the DCU is reinforced as he takes out Grifter and proves his skill.
There really is a lack of flow to this issue mostly from the extensive exposition in the dialogue. The information coming through seems forced and not as organic as this series usually feels. The artistic change is probably part of the flow as well.
If you’re finishing out this series before Dick heads back to his Nightwing identity, then you’ll certainly want to pick this up so you don’t get lost along the way. But if you want to try an issue of Grayson for the first time, I’d probably skip this one and go back and get last month’s.