On the heels of Batman’s 75th anniversary last year, this year brings the 75th anniversary of Dick Grayson and his first alter-ego, Robin. Although everyone in the Batman universe thinks Dick Grayson is dead after the events of Forever Evil, Batman and we the readers know that Dick has been working as a spy for the organization Spyral at Batman’s request. In a recent interview with Newsarama, the writers of the current ongoing title Grayson said that the status quo for Dick would change by the end of Convergence but that they had some special plans for celebrating the characters 75th anniversary. Below are some excerpts from that interview:
Newsarama: Tom and Tim, when Grayson was first announced, I think people expected a street-level spy comic, and you’ve certainly delivered on that, but there’s also a utilization of the bigger, more sci-fi or even mystical ideas of the DC Universe. Was that the intention, to mix this street-level feel of an acrobatic fighter with the more imaginative, weird ideas available within the tapestry of the DCU?
Tim Seeley: I think these very dissonant things coming together is part of Dick Grayson’s characters. You know, sort of putting this street-level guy who was a circus performer through anything, and having it be a good story is part of that character. Whether that’s sending him to a satellite hanging in space or doing very grounded stuff, it’s all part of, I think, what makes that character work.
Tom King: As long as we start with Dick Grayson and start with where we want to test this character and where we want to go forward with him, I think we can go into any genre or situation and see how he reacts to it. And that’s where the interest of the story comes from. I mean, he’s got a 75-year history, and we want to do something new with the audience, so we can’t just repeat what’s been done before. So you’re going to get a lot of surprises.
Nrama: In issue #5, you played with the “Robin Dies at Dawn” story. Was that your way to pay homage to that story?
Seeley: Yeah, that was a Tom King idea. And it was an homage; it was like a remix, I’d say.
King: Yeah, that’s one of my favorite stories of all time. And I really wanted to pay tribute. It seemed sort of natural. I wanted to have one comic that said why Dick Grayson is great. And that’s basically what I had written under my plot — “why is Dick Grayson great?” So that’s where the issue started.
Nrama: I think fans of Grayson are happy to see it sticking around after Convergence, a point when several other series are ending. But before we talk about your 2015 plans for the comic, we should probably talk about how much Mikel Janín’s art contributes to the success of this title.
Seeley: We totally agree that one of the things that makes this book work so well is that, despite Tom and I having disparate writing styles, when it comes to the way Mikel executes it, and Jeromy [Cox], the colorist, they make it look so consistent and so cool. Mikel is one of the most underrated artists, I think, in the entire industry. And we give him a lot more crazy sh*t to draw in 2015.
King: Yeah, I try not to talk too much about Mikel and Jeromy, because I’m really afraid that Grant Morrison is going to find them and take them or something. So I say publicly that their work is “mediocre to pleasant.”
Seeley: [Laughs.] That’s good. Mediocre to pleasant.
King: Yeah, so if anyone is thinking about hiring them, I would go against it.
Nrama: I was looking at solicitations for March’s issue, which is only a couple months off. And it looks like it’s going to be a changing point for the series. I assume there are big changes coming ahead post-Convergence, when Grayson returns in June?
Seeley: Yeah. I mean, I think we owe it to people who read the book — if you’re going to have two months off, we have to drop an awesome cliffhanger that makes you cling to that last page and just drool for the next one in two months. So it’s up to us to add new and cool stuff, and to set a new status quo, and to always keep things interesting. We have to change it up.
King: You’ll see that Grayson #8 will be the climax of the first season. A lot of elements will come together. A lot of things are happening in the background that you’re not even paying attention too, and those will pay off there in a big action-packed, awesome issue. And that’s going to conclude with this… “what just happened?” And then we start again, hitting the ground running, come June. We’re looking at it as almost like… this has to be as big as our first issue. It has to be that cool. It has to be that groundbreaking.
Nrama: Anything you want to add about what’s coming for the series in 2015?
King: We just came from the Bat-summit, which was amazing. And this is the 75th anniversary year for Dick Grayson. We’re going to hit that hard. It’s going to be something special.
Grayson #6 is in store today.