Díos mío. That splash page. I not only wanted Dick Grayson in that suit, but I wanted that suit! (Also, him looking me in the eyes and asking if he's straight? King is really just screwing with me at this point.)
Seeley gets right to work here. In the wake of her murder of Minos (at least, to her mind), Matron has established herself as the head of Spyral. We still know little about her or it, so it's unclear how she was able to establish herself as such so easily. But, her colleagues seem to accept her, as do the international spy organizations that approach her at the start of this issue. They call her to Brazil to bring to her attention that all the spies involved in the missions that lead to assembling Paragon would up dead. We're supposed to believe that Dick did it, since they were beaten to death with sticks, but, as Helena herself says, it's too easy. (The organizations order Helena to do something about it, since the killing of the spies broke the rules of the spy game.)
Meanwhile, Dick and Agent-1 have broken into the Prado to attend an event and swipe a necklace containing a Kryptonian crystal that could reveal everything about Superman. Despite orders not to engage, Dick charms the bearer with a dance and swipes the crystal off her at some point during a dip. During his flight with Agent-1, Helena warns Dick that Agent-1 might be the assassin, so Dick knocks him unconscious and hides. When the real assassin appears to take out Agent-1, Dick also knocks him unconscious, leaving Agent-1 to explain why he's lying next to an unconscious man to the arriving authorities.
This issue is really a joy and not just because Dick looks so amazingly pretty during it. We see Dick handle the mission on his own terms, using his...ahem...assets to full effect. Moreover, Seeley leaves all sorts of new questions unanswered. Dick was embedded in Spyral to help prevent it from revealing the identities of Earth's metahumans, but Matron sending him and Agent-1 into the field to protect Superman's secrets implies that this mission may have changed. That said, the issue starts with Dick pleading with Bruce to allow him to come home. It's clear that he's been forced to do things that are bringing him past the point that he can live with himself, so it seems unlikely that he's just going on missions that help him to protect his friends' secrets. Plus, we still don't know what motivated Minos (though it's unclear if we're ever going to get an answer to that) and what Agent-Zero is doing. (I re-read issue #8, and, given that Lois Lane has revealed Superman's identity to the world, are we supposed to believe that she really was Agent-Zero?)
Anyway, it's another great issue filled with intrigue and wit. I'm glad to see Dick not getting embroiled in Gordon-as-Batman story, since Seeley does so much more interesting stuff with him here.
**** (four of five stars)