For the last few years, Dick Grayson has been the man behind the cowl, and since Bruce Wayne’s return, he has been left with the responsibility of protecting Gotham City while Bruce builds his small army in Grant Morrison’s series, “Batman Incorporated.”  Dick is not Bruce, and until recently, no writer has been able to capture these subtleties quite like Scott Snyder (American Vampire).  With the help of critically-acclaimed artist Jock (The Losers), Snyder is able to show the graceful way in which Dick inhabits the role of Batman.  Instead of acting with brute force, Grayson’s acrobatic origins are displayed in Jock’s wonderful pencils, by combining the abstract with the beautiful.  Snyder also focuses on Dick’s psychology, giving the reader access into Batman’s subconscious.  The confidence that we’ve seen from Bruce’s portrayal of the dark knight is something Dick struggles to grasp.  He is constantly doubting himself, and it’s a joy to watch as Grayson learns to fill a pair of shoes he never asked for.

This issue concludes Snyder’s story-arc entitled, “Hungry City.”  The three issue arc began with a shocking revelation, as Batman and Commissioner Gordon discover a young woman inside the belly of a Killer Whale.  What’s more peculiar, is the fact that the whale was inside the lobby of one of Gotham City’s banks.  How did it get there, and why was this young woman stuffed inside?  As the title of the series suggests, this is a detective story, and Dick shows that he’s learned much from his former mentor.

Dick’s investigation puts him on the radar of some of Gotham City’s most dangerous crime-lords.  In this issue, we are introduced to a pirate named Tiger Shark.  He is a trafficker of guns, drugs, and all other manner of villainy.  The beauty of the story is Snyder’s setup.  While the reader is focused on the mystery of the murdered woman inside of a Killer Whale, Snyder is off setting up another more sinister plot that is closely linked to Dick’s past.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, and I highly recommend picking up this issue, as well as the previous two (876, 877).  Snyder and Jock have found that perfect chemistry between writer and artist that rarely happens in this medium.  It’s a shame that DC’s rebooting of the series is going to breakup this duo’s run on “Detective Comics” in the fall.  Don’t let this gem pass you by.

I’m curious to see what you all think.  How do you feel about Dick Grayson as Batman?  What are your favorite aspects of the man behind the cowl?

-David Griffin (Follow @griffinde on Twitter)

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