Isn't that some gorgeous art in the header? That's from the new DC title (well, it was new in July of 2014) Grayson. Read on, and I will share more.
Not much preamble. Catching up. Writing about July comics in November (it's almost December). Let's go. TIME GAP. TIME SHIFTS. Okay, I am still writing this one, and it is DECEMBER.
And it's still December. But I have struggled to keep my pace. I have to complete more than one of these a week if I am going to catch up.
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RE: SPOILERS: I don't have to explain that you read at your own risk, right?
Spy comics are big right now. Covert missions. Rogue operatives. A good mix of sex, action, and intrigue. Harkening back to the James Bond films. It's becoming the same kind of competitive market as film-making. Word on the street circulates that Image has a great spy-thriller on the works (Velvet), and so Marvel scurries around and launches Black Widow at the same time.
Sure, you could argue that this move both makes sense with its movie franchise as well as given it's success with The Winter Soldier. But still, the timing is not coincidental. And now, DC throws its hat in the ring with Grayson, after "killing" Dick Grayson, who had been publicly outed as Nightwing, the former Robin, he is believed dead (much like the Winter Soldier), so he can work as a covert spy on special missions.
It's an interesting comic, but surely, Dick Grayson will be Nightwing once again if only to renew a trademark or to support an upcoming appearance in a movie (as set up in the last Dark Knight film).
As a long time and very ardent Richard Grayson/ Robin/ Nightwing fan, you might expect me to be opposed to this kind of change. But change, trying new things, is what keeps these comics fresh and interesting. I am not an idiot fan boy who cannot see reason. So many comic books fans are stubbornly and stupidly set in their ways. If DC is not pumping comics exactly like those published in the 1960s or the 1980s, or whatever era formed their fondest memories and favorite stories, then they are unhappy. They resist change. They dislike change.
But we need change in comics. If a gang of creators are going to tell an episodic narrative that spans decades, then change is inevitable and necessary. Giving Dick Grayson a new role and a new comic is a very smart move on DC's part. It's like with anything in comics. It's temporary. Dick Grayson (or someone at least) will have to return to the Nightwing outfit soon if only to renew the trademark. What we get now, instead, is some interesting stories told in a new vein.
My greatest criticism of all the whole concept is keeping the secret from Alfred, the loyal butler and FAMILY MEMBER of the extended Batman family. Grayson spins out of Forever Evil, in which Dick Grayson's identity as Nightwing and the former Robin was outed to world. He was "killed" in that story line but brought back to life by Lex Luthor. Instead of trying to spin his identity and re-establish some kind of secret identity, Batman and Dick chose to keep the truth that Grayson is alive a secret and insert him into this spy network as a mole who reports back to Batman on a regular basis. Okay, fine. BUT keeping this a secret from ALFRED?? Blasphemy. It's a hard enough sell to comic fans that this secret would be kept from one-again-off-again great love of his life Barbara Gordon, let alone all the other close members of the extended Bat family, such as Tim Drake, Jason Todd, and others. But to keep the truth from Alfred violates the supposition long established in the DC universe, which is that Batman DOES NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM ALFRED. So in this sense, I am also an inflexible fan boy. Sure, there will be a reckoning and some great drama manufactured when Alfred finds out the truth. But it is manufactured drama and not legitimate. Furthermore, if I was writing it, I would have Alfred find out on his own and make it anti-climactic when Batman finally tells him, as if the Bat could keep any secrets from the Alfred! ABSURD!
I enjoyed Grayson #1. It would have taken top spot if I had not been so invested in The Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, which concluded this week.
As I mentioned earlier, I am a HUGE Richard Grayson/Nightwing/Robin fan and this alternative story for his ongoing biography works for me.
For more of my Grayson love check out this:
NIGHTWING T-SHIRT #62
Art by Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox proves to be very attractive. The Seeley/King writing is also effective. Months later, as I am writing this blog entry in December, Grayson has continued to rank high each month and has sustained its level of excellence. The writers have not forgotten that Dick is a romantic hero and as such needs to have a love interest. In fact, spy thrillers, especially those int he James Bond vein, feature plenty of sex and eye candy. Grayson may not fulfill these designs in the same way as Bond films, but Dick does get laid, which surely increases sales.
One of the things I love about digging into one of my favorite subjects, comic books, is how many people are also writing online on the same subject (and with much faster turn around). I am always finding new blogs, like this one:
GRAYSON #1 - TOO DANGEROUS FOR A GIRL REVIEW
Also, given my lateness with these posts, I have struggled with remembering the comic books from this week in July when it's now December, let alone finding the actual issues in my not so orderly storage process. But then I have discovered that some of the other sites in which people reviewed the comics each week, much as I have been doing, such as the link below from Newsarama.
NEWSARAMA REVIEW WEEK OF JULY 9 2014 - Grayson, Daredevil, All New X-Men
SPEAKING OF ROUND UPS.
Here's a few other round ups:
COMIC BOOK ROUNDUP FOR WEEK OF JULY 9 2014
IGN REVIEWS FOR COMICS FOR JULY 9 2014
The ALL NEW X-MEN seemed to be one of the most popular comics from this week as I could find many reviews for it as listed below.
I love the art.
But I have been growing weary of the All New X-Men. My main problem is that I have been waiting for the series to end, for the teenagers who are out of place in time to return to their own time. (For those not in the know, the premise for the All New X-Men title instantiated when the present-day Beast brought to the current Marvel tableau present the teenaged versions of the original X-Men in the aftermath of the Phoenix saga in which the possessed Cyclops kills Charles Xavier.)
The premise seemed played out, and I felt it was long over due for these kids to go back to the past before they are too old to fit back into that time line. It's been two years OUR time though not two years in their time. Though, granted, time is unclear in comics as characters do not advance in age very much but each year of our time there also seems to be a Christmas in their time (and a summer, and a winter, and a school year, and a Baseball season, etc.).
The reviews are generally positive. I am enjoying the series, though it used to rank much higher. As you can see, in this week from July, it sank to ninth. Now that I realize that the kids are not going to go back to their own time (at least not soon and maybe never), then I am no longer bugged by this continuity anomaly, and I can just enjoy the stories and intriguing character mash ups.
GEEK PARTY ALL NEW X-MEN #29 REVIEW
COMIC BOOK ROUNDUP - ALL NEW X-MEN #29 REVIEW
IGN - ALL NEW X-MEN #29 REVIEW
CBResources - ALL NEW X-MEN #29 REVIEW
In the interests of brevity, and since I am writing this in December, I am not going to gush about titles like Daredevil, Fantastic Four, or even The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl, about which I have previously gushed.
I am planning a more extended review of The Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, but with so many of these types of plans, I am not sure if this one will ever come to pass.
Weekly Comics for 1407.09
The Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #005
The Walking Dead #129
Fantastic Four: Original Sin #7
Infinity Man and the Forever People #2
Justice League United #3
The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #01.3
All New X-Men #029
(FROM LAST WEEK) The New 52: Futures End #9
The New 52: Futures End #10
(FROM LAST WEEK) Batman Eternal #12
Batman Eternal #13
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze #7
Spider-Man: 2099 #001
Captain Marvel #005
Batman: Detective Comics #33
World's Finest: Huntress and Power Girl #25
Great Pacific #16
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1412.18 - 8:22