- Plot: Tim Seeley and Tom King
- Script: Tom King
- Pencils: Mikel Janin
- Inks: Mikel Janin, Hugo Petrus, and Juan Castro
- Colors: Jeromy Cox
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Release Date: 9-23-15
After faking his death in Forever Evil, Dick Grayson has had to lie about his being dead to those he cared most about. However, after last issue’s betrayal, it’s time for Dick Grayson to rekindle the relationships he left behind in this week’s issue. However, much has changed since Grayson’s supposed demise. Bruce has lost his memory of being Batman, Alfred had a hand amputated by Joker, Jason and Tim lead new teams, Barbara has become the hero of Burnside, and Damian is back from the dead as well. How will Dick deal with restoring ties he had to painfully cut?
Seeley and King do an excellent job of handling each interaction, as well as bringing back Agent Zero, who gives Dick the ultimatum that sends him into these reunions. Each reunion begins with a splash page of the specific character he’s talking to, along with memorable quotes that tie Dick to that character (along with some infamous quotes, All Star Batman and Robin actually gets a nod in Bruce’s appearance, but not that line). There is also a callback to the Futures’ End issue that can be seen throughout the story which helps bring the various members of the Bat-family together to aid their erstwhile big brother/former lover (in Batgirl’s case). Each family member reacts in their own way, and it makes sense most of them are hurting over the lie of Dick’s supposed death. However, King’s dialogue gives us several touching moments as Dick attempts to repair the damage that has been done due to the lie. Most touching is his reunion with Damian, as both believed the other to be gone for good. It’s great to see one of the best duos in comics reunited, if just for a moment.
Janin does an excellent job of capturing each character, several of which he hasn’t had the opportunity to draw until now. He manages to capture their personalities perfectly, as well as how they move; be it Jason’s punch, Babs’s balletic movements, or Damian’s flips. Dick himself has plenty of dynamic movement; a scene with him and Batgirl diving from a Gotham bridge has a pas de deux quality that captures their long, fiery, and tempestuous relationship. However, this is a relatively sedated story, relying mainly on capturing the character’s expressions, something Janin does with aplomb. Each character is wonderfully expressive: from Jason’s anger, Tim’s snark, Barbara’s wistfulness, and a rare moment of pure joy from Damian. With three inkers on this book, there is a surprising uniformity from the team; there is no perceivable changes in the inking that would indicate that there was more than one inker. Cox brings his vibrant colors to the mix, giving the book plenty of energy even in quiet moments, and softening them just enough to fit the more reflective nature of this issue.
This is a perfect issue that encapsulates Dick Grayson’s relationships with the rest of the Bat Family. Even though things have changed, and the lies hurt, he is still there for them and will still be an important part of their lives. And while this issue is a bit more sedated, it is time for him to do the job he was sent to do: bring down Spyral from within!
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