Thursday, November 5, 2015

Grayson Annual #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I get where Seeley and King were trying to go here, but I'm not sure that they actually got there.

For reasons that I don't think we learn, Superman is in Gotham and conveniently mistakes Dick parcouring for someone trying to commit suicide.  He manages to catch him mid-fall, and Dick then reveals himself by dropping his hypnos.  After that, we get an awkward few panels of terribly scripted exposition where each hero brings the other au courant on his situation.  (Dick is now a Spyral agent, Superman is now less powerful.)  Their reunion is interrupted when the Fist of Cain suddenly arrives to kill them, with the victor winning a lot of points in their assassination competition.  We spend the rest of the issue watching the duo try to evade the various assassins.  (I'm not sure we ever learned how they knew that the two of them were together.  It's possible that they were only after one of them and stumbled upon them together by accident.  But, I'm not going to re-read the issue to confirm that hunch.)  They soon discover that the Cainers are using Blockbuster's blood to give them metahuman powers, and Clark remembers that Bruce constructed a device to block Blockbuster's powers when they battled him together years earlier.  Since neither Clark nor Dick is a technical genius, Clark calls in Lex Luthor, who builds the device for him so that he owes him one.

Beyond the Lex ex machina ending, this issue suffers from the fact that Seeley portrays Superman like he's a teenager.  I don't follow Superman regularly, but he's not just different here because he doesn't have his powers.  His use of slang is just downright weird, and it got to the point where I actually felt like Seeley got Clark and Conner confused.  I'm giving it two stars only for Dick's meditation on the fact that he's a different guy from the hopeful one that Clark used to know and Clark's refusal to believe that (the only moment when Clark sounds like Clark).  Otherwise, the issue doesn't have much to recommend it, unless you enjoy Dick constantly joking about Clark catching him in his arms being emasculating.

** (two of five stars)

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