Depression’s a funny thing, when you come out the other side of it. I mean, the disease itself isn’t funny at all. But I’ve always found the odd transformations that occur during one of my “foggy times,” a little bit funny.
I had a rough week, last week. Nothing happened, particularly, I just, didn’t feel well. (Seriously, concerned friends and family, I’m good. It was like the mental health version of a cold or stomach bug!) When the fog lifted however, my mind snapped into place, looking to latch on to some old obsessions.
Plus I’d been doing some heavy lifting in the reading department, so I figured, yeah, let’s take a break with some sexy spy times with everyone’s favorite ex-acrobat, ex-superhero, double agent with buns of steel and a heart of gold.
Agent THIRTY SSSEEEVEEEENNNNN! *BA BOW BOW*
AKA Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, AKA Robin, AKA Batman for like a minute (A GLORIOUS MINUTE) AKA The Fictional Love Of My Life.
So, when your depression brain wakes up one day and says , “I miss Dick Grayson,” and the part of you that’s trying to cope thinks, “that’s it? That’s what you want this time? We don’t need to eat our weight in pasta? Or skip work and walk around the Met? Or just lay in bed with the covers over our head wondering what the point of getting out of bed is? You just want to read some comics and obsess about Dick Grayson’s butt? WE CAN TOTALLY DO THIS DEPRESSION BRAIN!” And then your depression brain goes, “Really? Cool! Now about that pasta…”
I’m not suggesting that you negotiate with brain weasels all the time, I’m just highlighting how low level this week’s funk was.
Anyway, I decided that since my crazy self missed Mr. Grayson, I’d reread and finish the spy series that bears his name. (And then probably read Nightwing: Rebirth…but I haven’t done that yet…) I went on Amazon, bought the soft cover collections, and realized I’d previosuly read about half the series, though remembered even less of it.
I enjoyed it immensely. Grayson is a really fun book, even if I can’t quite look at it objectively. Most comic fans have “their guy.” Dick Grayson is my guy, and Grayson is written for people who choose him as their guy. Here he’s the smartest, best, funniest and obviously prettiest boy in every room he enters. (I mean he usually is anyway, IMO.)
But Grayson in particular plays to the character’s strengths and history which makes it a fun read. The spy setting lets his abilities as a performer and man-skank (seriously he’s SOOO slutty. I love him.) shine, whereas the traditional Batman urban setting plays these down, focusing on the acrobatics and quips (Also great) (And in abundance here.)
It’s also got a fun cast, (Helena Bertinelli & Tiger are true treasures. Midnighter’s fun too!) and my favorite series of moments, when Dick reveals to his fellow Bat-kids that he faked his death. Jason punches him in the face while Tim lectures him. Barbara tells him that she wishes she could be surprised by how disappointed in him she is…which ouch. And Damian just flying tackle hugs him, and I cry forever. There’s a decent exploration of identity throughout the series and the way it shifts as we grow up and change. Given how much he’s changed (Robin, Nightwing, Batman, back to Nightwing) Dick’s the perfect character in mainstream comics to explore that with. And it’s explored prtty deeply.
Like a lot of tail end New 52 stuff, things sort of fall apart when the book is forced into the massive crossovers and complex retcons happening around it. While the Robin War stuff, which crossed over with We Are Robin and I would assume Robin and Red Hood And The Outlaws and Teen Titans, I guess, (What was even was Tim’s book at this point? But see what I mean about the confusion?) was interesting, it pulled you out of some pretty important Spyral action which then takes another couple of issues to pick up. But it’s a fun mystery with a bonkers conclusion that all ties back to the question of identity. And there’s a fun Coda featuring my new favorite Constantine story. So that’s fun.
I’m trying not not let this suck me down a dark hole of comics reading, because so much time and money. But I was happy to pop in and revisit, especially with Dick. I’d missed him so.