This issue of Grayson takes us down a slightly different path than we’ve seen before. There is a mission involving a body part, there is a “love” interest, and there is the reminder that this guy used to be Nightwing. Spyral is paranoid and Dick is fun. What makes this issue different is that the story by and large is centered around the St. Hadrian’s Finishing School. The constraint of setting almost felt like when you’re a kid and you’re stuck inside the house on a rainy day, but unlike being bored in the house, I rather enjoyed this issue.

This issue opens up with the fastest mission from start to finish you’ve ever seen. Within three pages we’re given the mission run-down, the pre-mission worries, and the mission being accomplished. It is all quick and, to me, fun to read, especially in retrospect. The scene changes to one of the girl’s dorm rooms at the school. Dialog throughout this issue seems very natural, even with these young girls. I feel like I’m listening to actual teenage girls rather than some forty-year-old man’s guess as to how they sound.

One of these rebellious girls has taken some intimate pictures of a certain shirtless former Boy Wonder. Thankfully, the Spyral-swirly-face-hypnos-face-effect hinders the young ladies from learning Dick’s identity. However, seeing shirtless pictures of Dick just isn’t enough for this group and they decide to go on a “Man-ty Raid”. You guessed it: to steal his panties. Reading about a Man-ty Raid in the middle of a Grayson comic? Weird, I know.

We pick back up on a forlorn looking Dick just before he and Batman have their secret chat.

Spoiler
Remember that sucker? That was a ploy so Bruce could hopefully get a skin cell sample off the ground to find out who Mr. Minos is. That’s genius! What we learn is that Mr. Minos has extremely small “nanite machines” that crawl everywhere that eat up the loose skin flakes and pieces of hair that might shed from Mr. Minos’ body. As Bruce puts it, “Minos is so concerned with protecting his identity that he covers his tracks on a microscopic level.” Wow. That’s paranoid. And awesome.
As Dick and Bruce finish their chat, Dick hears the girls outside his room. He goes out and lets them chase him for a while before Helena stops the fun. There are some great visual scenes that show how happy Dick is to be playing around.

In a strange twist, Helena reports back to Mr. Minos about what’s happened and Dick gets punished for toying with them. The punishment is an appropriate one. “Since your cover is blown, you will now teach two classes of acrobatics a week. your new cover identity is that of a French former Olympic gymnast. And whose face is so indistinct as to be unmemorable. And who is gay.” How interesting! I’m going to have to see how this is handled in the next issue to see how I feel about it. I foresee some public sexual tension displayed in the future. I will tag remaining spoilers here:

Spoiler

  • Helena is told to investigate transmissions that were sent by Agent 8 (the woman who died last issue) out to someone else. She enters Dick’s room while he is out and presumably she finds Dick and Bruce’s communications tech in the alarm clock. But she doesn’t turn Dick in. She has compassion for him. At the end of the issue she wants Dick to chase her as the girls chased him earlier because she want’s him to remember Nightwing. I think it’s great too because I want to remember Nightwing. That’s why he is here because Dick is the only one capable of such an infiltrating task. We mustn’t forget that were it not for Bruce and his plan, Dick wouldn’t be at Spyral.
  • Midnighter is shown looking for the heart when Apollo shows up to convince him to return to Stormwatch. That’s as much as we get out of that sequence.
  • No obvious “dick” jokes this issue.

Recommended if: 

  • You like layered story telling.
  • You haven’t forgotten that this guy was Nightwing.
  • You’re interested in the Dick/Helena relationship.

Overall:

While on the surface it’s a slight departure from previous issues in form, this issue retains that high level of quality we’re coming to expect from this series. Overall, it’s a smart series that does not skimp on the action. The whole creative team are firing on all cylinders for what has become one of my favorite books to read.

SCORE: 8.5/10