After reading this large annual, I’m convinced Seeley and King could co-plot/write any character they want and I’d enjoy it. Every issue they’ve told so far in this series has been packed with action, genuine suspense, crazy awareness of the characters, and they never insult the intelligence of their readers. As soon as I’m finished writing this review, I’m going to look up other works by these two.

That must mean I’m head-over-heels in love with this issue, right? Well, yes and no. It is quality writing on all accounts. It’s much better than we get from the triflings of other titles, but it’s not quite on par with how awesome I’ve felt toward other issues of this series.

The story is that of a bomb builder named Rock. He’s in Ireland and has caught Helena Bertinelli. He wants to get money for her capture because he knows she has ties to the mafia and is worth some good money. He gets in contact with a buddy who then sets him up with henchmen for a real mean green dude by the name of St. Francis. The trade goes poorly and the issue ends.

That is what happens. But it is more important to tell the story than rain down just the facts. This issue tells a meta-narrative on the effects of story and persuasion, on wit and fear. As I began reading it, I felt like I was reading a Grayson comic. The dialogue, even though it’s written with Irish accent, is very honest. The layers of story are so thick, just like a Grayson comic should be. It presents ideas like previous issues have done and makes the reader put pieces together. It’s great.

My only two real negatives about this issue are: 1) The length, and 2) I caught “it” too early. Concerning the length, I did feel it kind of drug on for quite some time. I appreciate the layers of stories and telling them to us and all that jazz, but I couldn’t help but feel a little antsy. The pacing was a bit slow paced. Not terrible, but a tad slow.

Concerning my “catching it” too early, well, you know that belongs here:

Spoiler
Dick Grayson is Rock. From the moment I saw Helena in the trunk I thought, “This is a set up. He is somehow Dick.” And I was right. Then, as if to fully convince me, Rock says in reference to why he’s called Rock, “‘Rockin’ Rob’ they called me. Tweet. Tweet. Yeah?” And the very next page is 2/3 filled with a woman saying, “Tweet? Tweet?” It just felt a little too conspicuous. If you missed it, then great! You got to enjoy the hook at the end. But for me, I was waiting on it and felt sort of short-handed. Not that it was childish writing, mind you, but it was slightly obvious.

Seeing Dick (as Rock) talk A LOT, made me laugh. That’s his thing! He talks his way through everything and that’s what he does here. Ah man, it reminds me of seeing him as Batman. A talkative Batman. I enjoyed that.

And I guess this belongs here too, but don’t you find it ironic that they fight St. Francis, the guy who preached to the birds?

It’s not a must-read, but I thought it was good. Five bucks? I don’t regret it.

Recommended if:

  • You like the rest of Grayon, you’ll most likely like this.
  • You’re Irish or have a love of Irish folk-lore.
  • The story is what’s most important to you.

Overall:

It’s a neat issue to inspect and follow closely. Not quite as ground-breaking as the Futures End one-shot, but still an enjoyable read.

SCORE: 8/10