“Grayson” is a comic that I always want to like a little more than I actually do. Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin’s concepts are always interesting but, at times, it feels like there’s something getting lost in between Seeley and King’s ideas and the stories that appear on the page.
“Grayson” #6 is a perfect example of the slight disconnect that exists in this series, as well as the parts that still work even with that problem. The issue opens and closes with Grayson and Bertinelli investigating a mysterious organization that’s grabbed some sort of device that can do great harm. The problem is that — once again — Seeley and King plunge us into the mission in medias res with no explanation as to what’s going on and why they’re there. I don’t mind having the pick things up as I read, but Seeley and King’s story runs into a problem here; when Dick gets kidnapped by the Midnighter and sidetracked from his main mission, it’s hard to get worried.
Dick’s attempts to escape and get back to his mission continue throughout the comic, even down to the cliffhanger. However, with no real context for the main mission, I found it difficult as a reader to care about what’s going on. It’s a prime example of how there needs to be a certain level of buy-in presented to your reader to make them cheer on your protagonist. Because we never get anything to latch onto, it’s this side-story of Grayson and Midnighter fighting one another that ends up being the primary hook for “Grayson” #6. To Seeley and King’s credit, that part of the comic works fairly well. It’s a little bit of a stretch to explain why Grayson would win this fight against Midnighter, but it’s entertaining enough and that hook pulls you through the comic. Now that the fight’s over, though, Seeley and King will need to perform a lot of heavy lifting next issue to make that diverted mission interesting.
Janin’s art, on the other hand, is consistently good from start to finish. His characters are smooth and good looking, and the action sequences of the duo fighting slide across the page with grace and energy. If you’re going to devote the majority of your comic to two people beating each other up, Janin is clearly the artist for the job. I’ve been a fan of his art for several years now, and this issue won’t change that one bit. He’s a talented artist and, above all else, it’s his skill that makes me come back issue after issue.
I like the ideas behind “Grayson” #6 and the series as a whole, but it still feels very disjointed and not quite there. Whatever big ideas are in the writers’ heads, it never comes out as smoothly. I’ll keep reading because there’s always something in each issue that clicks together perfectly but, at the same time, it’s hard to keep from hoping that the entire comic could do so as well. Fingers crossed, it’ll get there before too much longer.