As the weeks press on, the pieces to the puzzle are slowly falling into place. Certain plot threads are seemingly nearing a conclusion, while others are barely finding flight. Gordon’s trial and the Falcone-Penguin gang war have been at the center of attention for the majority of the series, and while they’ve been distantly connected, these story lines are going to collide in a big way. With Lt. Bard filling in nicely as Gordon’s replacement, though he’s not the boy scout that Gordon has been, the chaos that has descended upon Gotham appears to be coming to an end, though we all know that’s not true. There was some heavy handed foreshadowing that The Lion will probably be making his return to Gotham during this series, as well, unless he’s already made his return as one “Leo” aka The Lion, cellmate to Gordon. The issue also moves along the previously introduced plot involving the mysterious on-goings at Arkham, as well as the tediously repetitive story that is Harper Row. Jason Fabok does an excellent job on the art duties, as does Brad Anderson on colors. You may have noticed Brad Anderson received cover credit, which is part of DC’s plans to finally join the modern comic industry and recognize their color artists for the work they do. 4.5/5
With time comes change, and boy is this a major change for the former Boy Wonder. Unlike nearly 99% of comic book characters, Dick Grayson is constantly growing and changing. From Robin, to Nightwing, to Batman, and back to Nightwing, Dick’s growth as a character, in an otherwise stagnant world, has always been a wonderful characteristic. As such, his transition from Nightwing to international spy is as smooth as the sheet of paper this comic was printed on. This first issue was everything it needed to be. The story starts off in the middle of an adventure with some great action, and segues into some plot development towards the end. That actually ended up being a great choice by Tom King and Tim Seeley, because it got to show off that Dick’s role in this series and in Spyral isn’t all too different than any other undercover case he’s had to work. The only off-putting aspect to this whole adventure is that everyone who cares about Dick thinks he’s dead, except for Bruce, and I hope that’s something that is dealt with across the DC universe, because unlike Batman, Dick has always been the social butterfly among the other heroes. Mikel Janin, with Jeromy Cox on colors, does an amazing job this issue. From the very first page, their art reads beautifully with the story and makes it that much more fun to read. 4.5/5
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