“I lose my powers. You’re a spy. Bruce is an amnesiac. Legends don’t change. Us? We’re all just guys?” – Superman from the pages of Grayson Annual #2.
It’s annual week at DC comics with 5 titles releasing their yearly oversized issues. There is a negative perception of Annuals floating around, even me, king of positivity is known to grumble from time to time when my favorite comics hit annual week. But here is the thing, they are usually pretty good. A lot of annuals allow creators, whether regular or guest, to take a step aside from the ongoing story lines and tell a fun, exciting story. An annual allows a guy like me, who doesn’t necessarily read a book monthly, to try it out and have some fun with the characters. This is the situation I find myself in this week with Grayson. I’m glad I picked it up because Grayson Annual #2 turned out to be my favorite book of the week.
Grayson Annual #2 delivers everything you want in an annual comic. It is full of action, adventure and most of all fun. It is a self contained buddy story between Dick and Clark. Clark shows up in Gotham just as Dick is about to head out. Clark’s powers have taken a serious dive of late and he is currently T-shirt and jeans Superman. They quickly run into a horde of murderous maniacs hopped up on super juice and killing relentlessly on a points based system. This presents itself as a huge problem for an enhanced Grayson and a not so super Clark. When was the last time Superman said “Ow” in a back alley fight with a bunch of punks? Dick and Clark need to use all the tools at their disposal to take down this psychotic souped-up gang and that includes using their brains and perhaps not being afraid to ask for a little help.
The comic is written by the regular writers Tom King and Tim Seeley but with a new face on the art, Alvaro Martinez. Martinez must have been drooling when he took a look at the script. There were numerous pages where Martinez was able to cut loose and let his style bleed through and drive the story. The action scenes are drawn with such clean cut detail that they are really felt. From a big Mad Max style road chase down to an intimate back alley acrobatic street fight. Martinez captures these frantic high adrenaline moments and produces action scenes that won’t miss a beat. However, Martinez shows that he is not just an action junkie as he breaks down the characterizations in the emotional moments. In a buddy action book with two dudes, the emotional moments come few and far between, but they may just be the most meaningful parts of the story. Martinez has his art on full display in this issue and because of it there are many exciting action scenes, with a little bit of heart to make you swell.
Grayson Annual #2 was a nice surprise on a slow week. I would suggest giving it a try if you haven’t already. There were a lot of solid books this week including the conclusion of Sandman Overture but there was no book I wanted to pick up and read again more than Grayson. If DC Entertainment is looking to get Grayson into the big screen world here is your script.