| I have provided scans of the pages Dick appears in. The text is too small to read... this is deliberate. The purpose of the scans is to show other fans the scope of Dick's role. If you want to read, you will need to buy a copy of the comic... and support DC writers and artists. |
One Off |
Dick Grayson (Elseworlds)
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Elseword's Tale - I really enjoyed this story. While the portrayal of Dick is slightly different to the usual, it works well. There are some aspects of the characterisation that are wrong, but I was easily able to overlook this and enjoy the story for what it was.
This is set in the 1940s in the time of gangsters and gumshoes. The entire story is set around the Private Detective who narrates the action... one Richard Grayson. A former circus performer known as "The Flying Grayson" and "The Boy Wonder."
He was a police man but was 'discharged'... we aren't told why. The character is that of the stereotypical gumshoe of the period - a rumpled but loveable rogue who draws the ladies, smokes, drinks, is sharp as a tac and one hell of a detective.
Barbara plays his dedicated Girl Friday who is in love with him. Batman plays a secondary role in this story. Many members of his rogue's gallery make appearances but not quite as we usually know them. All have been scaled back to the essence of their character the larger than life aspects of a superhero comic removed. Harvey Dent is Bruce Wayne's coin flipping two faced lawyer. The Joker is a card sharp. The Penguin is one of the powerhouses of the underworld who is portrayed more like the head of a Mob. Clayface and the Riddler both make appearances. Killer Croc is past circus performer and old friend of Dick who is forced to live in the sewers. I think the author did an incredible job of stripping each character back to their bare bones and adapting them to this style.
The story is set around the apparent murder of Selina Kyle, a lady of ill repute who owns the Kity Kat Club and is or has been the girlfriend of a long list of people including Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Cobblepot etc. She is a known blackmailer and when she turns up dead, the list of suspects is long. Dick begins investigating and winds up both as a suspect on the police list and wanted by the heavy weights who are all looking for Selina's missing key... the key to the box where she kept her blackmail material.
Dick is shown to be competent and realistic, though a little shallow. His detective skills are well-honed and when he discovers Batman's identity, he confronts Bruce. They then form an uneasy partnership. When Dick is captured, beaten and tied to a roof top that is set alight, we see him competently release himself and theb come up with an ingenious way of calling for help... he invents the Batsignal!
Batman comes to the rescue and then the pair head to the sewers to uncover the truth. The Joker, The Penguin and Harvey Dent all show up intent on finding Selina's blackmail material and together Batman and Dick take them down. When Killer Croc appears, Dick's loyalty to his friend overwhelms him and he prevents Batman from capturing him.
In the end, Selina's death is revealed to be an accident and Bruce and Dick share an uneasy respect. You get the felling they will fight side by side again in the future.
One interesting aspect of this story is the way Bruce opens up to Dick so quickly... not unlike he does in traditional comics.
As stated above, while this characterisation of Dick is 'different' and somewhat shallow compared to the character I know and love, I couldn't help but enjoy this comic. The story is stylised and if you can appreciate and accept that aspect I think you will agree it is incredibly clever. I enjoyed this. While it isn't the way I like to see Dick portrayed as an Elseworlds story it works well.