Whatever else you can say about Tim Seeley and the rest of the Grayson creative team, never accuse them of lacking a sense of humor.  As the calendar closed in on Halloween, they offered up a story that nods in the direction of that most appropriate of classics, Frankenstein.  Never shy of celebrating Dick Grayson’s physical attributes, they open with a scene detailing the former Robin’s return to the decidedly unloving embrace of Spyral, a process featuring a medical examination that Doctor Frankenstein would likely appreciate.  That it involves the reactivated Agent 37 spending several panels decidedly naked is something many readers of the book can appreciate.

As usual with Grayson, one isn’t sure of the motivations and intentions of the characters involved in that awkward process, not even Dick’s.  Is Frau Netz, Spyral’s chief mad scientist, truly as evil as she seems?  Is Helena’s apology about Dick’s recent experience with Lex Luthor genuine?  What does Dick believe?  What are his plans?

These fascinating speculations are put on hold while Dick and the Tiger renew their partnership by foiling a bit of piracy on the part of Dick’s one-time enemy,  Tiger Shark.    The interlude also allows Dick to contact his new Gotham-based control, Red Robin.  Now that the Bat Family has identified Luka Netz as Spyral’s Agent Zero, Tim Drake in full techno-genius mode has scoured the web for evidence of her activity.  He has found evidence that she has been watching Bruce and Dick for years, her intentions and desires unclear, but her obsession obvious.  He has also traced her to the German city of Spandau.  Given the fact that she is the daughter of Otto Netz, Doctor Dedalus, her lair in the city that once imprisoned Rudolf Hess seems quite fitting.  Where else would Otto Netz’ offspring shelter, if not in the long shadow of an ancient, moldering Nazi?

At this point Seeley makes a slight, if understandable, misstep.  One challenge facing Grayson has been the development of Dick Grayson as a most unlikely spy.  He determines to manipulate both Spyral and the God Garden to give himself cover for an investigation of Agent Zero’s Spandau hideout, calling in a favor from Midnighter to accomplish the plan.  This leads the dour Midnighter to an awkward and uncharacteristic musing about just how good Dick is getting at such games.  The message is clear, on the nose, and unnecessary.  The episode does allow for the introduction of yet another WildStorm refugee, Ladybot, who has been sent by the God Garden to make her own Spandau investigations.

Grade

B+

Conclusion

This installment of GRAYSON ends with Agent Zero reading from Percy Shelley's poem, "The Cloud," as Dick, Tiger, and Ladybot break into her lair to discover it guarded by giant electronic spiders. Given that the poem is about the eternal cycles of death and renewal in nature, one suspects what the three find in her headquarters will have more to do with Mary Shelley than Percy. The return of Doctor Dedalus seems to be imminent. The four-sided chess match between Dick, Agent Zero, Frau Netz, and the God Garden will have a new player. Ah well, in intrigue the more the messier, but also the more exciting. Besides, surely they meant to use Paragon for something other than Robin bait, wouldn't you think? Or is it Dick who is meant to contribute a new body for good doctor's new home?