Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin move into phase two of their “Grayson” story as Dick Grayson — reinserted into Spyral — puts himself in charge of his own investigation into the organization, backed by his Bat family in Gotham. The issue reestablishes his ties with his fellow agents and sets up this new dynamic while drawing in one of Dick’s other new friends. Seeley’s script sends the secret agent and his partner Tiger around the globe, while Red Robin helps uncover the ties Spyral has had to the Bat family dating back to Dick’s earliest adventures. Seeley, swapping scripting duties with co-plotter Tom King, continues to develop the balanced tone of the book by combining character-based comedy with high action and breathtaking stunts. Janin approaches the story with more straightforward page layouts than the previous issues but still manages to find great moments of high design, like the opening scenes inside Spyral headquarters.
There’s a renewed sense of confidence in Dick Grayson’s body language and actions now that he’s in charge of his own mission. The character is an acrobat raised by a detective, both fields that require absolute control and precision. Seeley gives us a slightly more comfortable Grayson, even if he’s not as in the catbird seat as he believes. The pace of the issue is great for jumping into the series, giving a 360-degree view of the story and displaying everyone’s roles in excellent show-don’t-tell fashion. The chapter ends abruptly in the middle of a fight, which makes it feel like they may have run out of pages before they ran out of story. It will be less obvious in collected form, and — though it is a little disappointing — it only serves to highlight how fun and surprising the cliffhangers of the series have been so far.
Inker Hugo Petrus assists Janin and adds a little bit of grit over the pencils through use of a slightly thicker line than Janin uses alone. His presence is heavily felt during Helena Bertinelli’s meeting with many shadowy figures of dubious intent. The pages almost feel physically heavier with this use of heavy blacks, which rough up the pencils and introduce a different visual feel to the book. It also draws heavy attention to what happens and makes it feel like this will surely be a scene with ramifications down the line. Colorist Jeromy Cox also does a great job of subtly calling out allegiances and characters through the colors, adding elements closer to Tiger’s color scheme when he is suspicious of Dick’s behavior and balancing Red Robin’s background with colors closer to Dick Grayson’s own uniform, informing readers who has the control over the situation.
The road is still going to be long for Dick Grayson before he’s finally found the corruption at the root of Spyral, but Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin make the ride incredibly enjoyable the whole way. Fans of the series should expect another fun issue that may fall a little short of the series’ previous homeruns but won’t be disappointed by this nice triple. New fans interested in checking out the series should have no problem jumping into the flow of the story with this issue.