Grayson #20 Review


By Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Roge Antonio, Jeremy Cox, Carlos M Mangual, Mikel Janin

Secret Agent Grayson man has come to an end. The final chapter for Spyral’s most ostentatious agent is here… 

Dr. Daedalus has possessed Helena and his plan to take over the world through Spyral’s satellites is moments away from completion, can Agent 37 stop him?

When this series began I was impressed and overjoyed that DC let arguably one of their most developed characters be taken on this route of being publicly unmasked and then turned into a secret agent and then let it run its course without being canceled. It says a lot about Tom King, Tim Seely, and Mikel Janin’s collective talents that this comic made it this far, even if the final chapters were done without them.

This final issue has several storytelling cliches that I’ve seen enough times to be sick of them; villain holds love interest hostage, hero offers himself as sacrifice, villain enters his mind and the hero pulls a reverse-reverse psychology on him and wins. Under King and Seely, I’m sure it wouldn’t feel so uninspired, but Lanzing and Kelly are following their script to the best of their ability. It’s too bad it still doesn’t measure up. Even Roge Antonio’s art tries to be as kinetic and visually inventive as Janin’s and almost succeeds in some spots before it all starts to feels muddy and formulaic of DC’s house style. Jeremy Cox’s colors offer some visual continuity with the other 19 issues, but otherwise nothing here feels like the Grayson I know and love.

The series has taken a lot of left turns over the course of its run and some of them I really liked while others were dead ends. Seeing that it was all leading to a wacky Nazi scientist taking over the World with mind control makes me wish that the series had ended at a previous point like the reveal of Agent Zero. Still, I have to believe that had the original team done this issue I would’ve received it much more warmly.

Grayson ends so Nightwing can be reborn, free in the knowledge that only Helena and the Bat-family know he is Richard Grayson. This means the future issue where he and Helena travel to Russia and kill KGBeast will probably never be continuity, which is sad as that was not one of Futures End‘s best issues but also one of the more memorable in the series.

An inauspicious end to Grayson and the stories it wrought. With Seely returning to Dick Grayson as Nightwing, I hold on to hope he can bring that spark that I’ve seen in Grayson‘s early issues and New Suicide Squad.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

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