comic books

Grayson Comic Discussion: Showing us superheroes can and should evolve

grayson comic panel midnighterDick Grayson, former Robin, former Batman, former Nightwing, is now a spy, and I may have been reluctant about the change at first, but the latest issues of the Grayson series prove that mixing things up, can be pretty great.

I love Dick Grayson, Nightwing is one of my favourite characters, and after the events of Forever Evil (spoiler: where his identity was revealed to the world and he had to fake his own death), the Nightwing fan in me got pissed. We found out we were no longer getting a Nightwing series, and poor Dick Grayson would be stripped of his Nightwing costume, and instead become a spy….with a gun!!

However even with my reluctance, I went in to Dick Grayson’s new series, ‘Grayson’, with an open mind. And I’m glad that I did, because the series has been great so far. Now I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who has yet to pick up the series, as there are a lot of plot twists and turns, but I will say this: if you were ever a fan of Dick Grayson, you should definitely check it out. He may no longer be a superhero, but he is still Dick Grayson. intelligent, skilled, funny, caring Dick Grayson.

dick grayson midnighter comicAnd putting him in this new environment was a great step forward. Critics of superheroes often talk about the static nature of superheroes. How they never really evolve, and remain stagnant, being placed in the same, slightly altered stories over and over again.

And in a medium, where comic characters have been around for decades, it is hard to create new, interesting stories, but Grayson managed to do that. Instead of reading the same old Nightwing fighting Gotham villains and such, we’re now seeing him thrown into the world of spies. Grayson is working in a dodgy spy agency, whose main aim is to find out all there is to know about the Justice League. Living a double life, we see Dick having to take action, and make decisions he wouldn’t normally do in his old Nightwing life.

Now he is forced to question what Batman taught him, and learn how to react in more morally questionable scenarios. And it’s been great seeing his character evolve in the Grayson issues. Because the story isn’t just about emphasising the sex appeal of Dick Grayson (but let’s be honest, that’s a big part of it), it also calls to question how useful superheroes are in particular situations.

grayson issue 8 panel comicIn the world Dick Grayson is in right now, he can’t have the mindset of a superhero, he has to have the mindset of a spy. So that means deceiving people, and doing morally questionable things. However Dick Grayson is still the boy-wonder we all know and love, he’s just a little more evolved now, which is much-needed.

Giving well established comic book characters new roles can anger some people, but is needed for creative growth. These characters are more than just badasses who stop bad guys and gals, they are people with strengths and weaknesses, all of which can be explored in new scenarios.

So again if you aren’t reading Grayson and have previously loved the character, or love great, high energy spy stories, I definitely suggest checking it out. The story is only 8 issues in, so it will be easy to catch up on. Issue 8 was probably the strongest of the whole series, and showed Dick Grayson excelled at all his previous roles as Robin, Nightwing and Batman, for a reason.

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