Alternate Universe Reviews: Grayson, Black Dynamite, Spider-Man 2099, Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet

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We here at G33king Out love to support our local comic book stores, and oftentimes, they love to support us right back. Today we’re featuring reviews of a few new comics we received from our friends at Alternate Universe, a local comic store with locations in both New Haven and Milford, CT.  If you’re in the area, make sure you check the place out. This week is exceptionally action-packed, through Grayson #1, Black Dynamite #3, Spider-Man 2099 #1, and Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet #1.

(These opinions do not reflect the views held by the ownership or employees of Alternate Universe.)

Grayson #1

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In a much-anticipated reboot of the character, Grayson #1 brings fan-favorite and former Nightwing, Dick Grayson, into the world of espionage, courtest of writer Tim Seeley and Artist Mikel Janin. While initial teaser images of Dick using a gun and being without a costume, both decisions being somewhat contrary to the character’s light and flashy background, some fans were left uncomfortable with the idea of this new direction. Despite these changes, the most important thing, and the aspect of this book that makes it so successful, is that Dick Grayson is still Dick Grayson, in one of the first drastic re-imaginings of a character for the New 52, and possibly the best-working.

The story follows Dick’s first mission for the spy organization Spyral, infiltrating a moving train and extracting an important target. He pulls this off with classic Dick Grayson style, restoring the fun and fluidity of motion that had been missing from this character. The art is phenomenal at conveying the character and his unique fighting, despite teaser images being somewhat disappointing. This is spy fiction at its most fun, James Bond without the problematic aspects, and far more larger-than-life. This is a book where Dick Grayson is given interesting, high level spy science gadgets, like the technology that prevents his face from being recorded or remembered (as is explained in the book), but Dick Grayson start his mission disguised in a blonde wig anyway because he’s sassy and just felt like being blonde that dayGrayson #1 is a great bit of fun, and, surprisingly enough, one of the best reboots of a character on the shelves today.

Black Dynamite #3

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Black Dynamite #3 is just about everything one could expect from Black Dynamite #3. Written by Brian Ash with art by Ron Wimberly and Sal Buscema, Black Dynamite, for those who don’t know, is every 70’s blacksploitation and kung-fu movie combined, made into a slight bit of commentary, but mostly a good time. There’s no subtlety, no tact, and about as much fun as you could have. The comic book almost does the original series justice, with issue three following Black Dynamite’s trip to an actual monastery to fight evil monsters, weapons of The Man. The art is solid, the story and dialogue funny, and the series overall, almost reaching that pinnacle of the original television series. Fun for (definitely not) the whole family.

Spider-Man 2099 #1

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Peter David returns to the future Spider-Man he created in Spider-Man 2099 #1, with Will Sliney on art. This new start sees Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man from the year 2099, come back in time to “fix” the past and secure a more comfortable future for himself. Filled with a light-hearted feel and a tongue-in-cheek attitude about the specifics of time travel, Spider-Man 2099 starts off well, through both David’s comedy and Sliney’s solid action, featuring particularly strong impacts in his combat. The issue runs a bit afoul of this tempo when the book features a grisly death, quickly swept aside and ignored, but the one dark spot doesn’t annihilate the overall fun of the book. While not a spectacularly unique book in it’s start, Spider-man 2099 is a nice bit better than good, in the new beginnings of a goofy character that might appeal to audiences seeking an easy swashbuckler.

Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet #1

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Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet puts Brian Posen and Gerry Duggan, the current main-title writers, and some of the best Deadpool has ever had, in the saddle of a miniseries, featuring Reilly Brown on art. Here we see Deadpool in London, mixing it up with a bunch of vampire, similar to the current main title. The comedy is spot on, as Posen and Duggan have managed to reinvigorate throughout their run. While over-saturation of Deadpool miniseries has been a problem in the past, with the current line-up of better-than-passable titles out, it seems like the love of this character may actually be justified in his abundance of series. Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet does actually manage to stand out as the best of the lot, of course, with its superior and already proven team on writing, and excellent work by brown, clean yet hectic, with accent on the comedic timing. If you’re looking for a Deadpool book and don’t want to be bothered with the main series (although you should be, because it’s great), your best choice is easily Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet.

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About the Author

Steve DiMaria

Steve DiMaria is a self-taught lover of comics, aspiring cosplayer, and obsessive strategy game addict. He is known to talk endlessly on philosophy, particularly in conjunction with any combination of these three things. Steve is also frequently observed to simply talk quite a lot, in a very loud voice, and oftentimes in public places. Experience more dumb things he says on twitter @Steveofmaria

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