The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 26 – September 1, 2015

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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 9 comics last week: Batgirl #43, We Are Robin #3, Cyborg #2, Lando #3, Grayson #11, Secret Wars: Civil War #3, Justice League of America #3, Secret Wars: Old Man Logan #4 and Superman #43.

The best comic I read last week was Grayson #11.

Grayson 11

Followers of this blog and this “Best Sequential Art” feature know that I am a devotee of the character Dick Grayson and that I would, very much, like to see him back in costume as Nightwing and back to being a part of the larger Bat-Universe. That said, I continue to find Grayson  an engaging read. Issue #11 was the best of the series.

Writers Tim Seeley and Tom King have taken a unique perspective on the character who, literally, died in the Forever Evil crossover. They’ve developed a great feel for Dick Grayson and have made him a character who is, somehow, more than he was even under the glory days of Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This is the highest praise I can offer these writers, as I venerate the Wolfman and Perez New Teen Titans take on Robin/Nightwing/Dick Grayson. While Seeley and King aren’t making me forget those days, they are adding dimensions to this character I thought I knew very well. I didn’t know if I would love this version and I very much have to do so.

In the prior ten issues of the series, Dick Grayson is a superspy operative working on the secret orders of Batman trying to expose the spy organization Sypral. Unfortunately, Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman, and, though Dick is unaware of the circumstances, he knows something is very wrong at home. In this issue, he decides it might be time to head back to Gotham.

As Dick arrives at this decision, Seeley and King delve deeply into Robin mythos and treat readers to a Grayson-on-Grayson battle that doesn’t ever sink to fan service. In fact, it avoids it completely and cleverly. I found myself laughing out loud at this strongest sequence of the issue. it’s knowing, it’s smart and it’s perfectly Dick Grayson.

These guys get it.

And they continue to be ably abetted by the stunning work of Michel Janin. It’s hard to picture this character without him and he’s giving readers and definitive take on the character which is up there with Perez’s. Again, I trust the gravity of that comparison is understood.

Grayson represents the best of the DC reboot, hands down.



Filed under Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics

4 responses to “The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 26 – September 1, 2015

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