So, Devin Grayson. I really like her writing, from what little I’ve read of it, and the one time I met her, she seemed like a really nice person. And yet… she’s a bit of a controversial figure in this, the world of comics, isn’t she? Whether it’s people making up stories of how she got into/keeps getting work in the industry, others upset that she didn’t write Dick Grayson the way they wanted him to be written, or whatever, she’s got some of that John Byrne magic somehow. So who could blame her for going off and writing a book about her favorite characters, instead?
Except… the book isn’t what many expected. More after the jump.
Here’re some Amazon reviews for it:
This is a very good book for comic books fans with extensive or not-so-extensive background knowledge. There are lots of details about character histories, especially the three sidekicks, Nightwing, Arsenal, and Tempest. The story seems to take place in current, or at least recent, comic book continuity, including such details as Aquaman’s mystical hand and Arsenal’s recent gunshot wounds, but being familiar with this comic book continuity isn’t really necessary in order to enjoy the story. It’s a good book about the characters as people, first of all, and an enjoyable action story second. I highly recommend it.
A very enjoyable book. If you are unfamiliar with the heroes’ sidekicks, this book gives an excellent background on who they were, what they’ve done and who they are now. I read the comics years ago, but didn’t know what had happened with the characters. I enjoyed the book for all the history. However, the story line itself, was very short. The book dealt mainly with giving background on each of the three former sidekicks. The author would do good to develop each one of the character histories as their one story. I would buy them also.
But here are some excerpts from the book itself:
A few paces ahead, Aquaman had caught up with Green Arrow.
“Your boy’s looking good,” he commented, both because it was true and because he was making an effort to honor the role he had assumed as Green Arrow’s chief entertainment.
“Yeah, he is, isn’t he?” Ollie sounded pleased. “That kid’s always been a looker. They all are. No wonder people like to speculate.”
Arthur frowned slightly as Ollie laughed. “I meant he looked healthy” Arthur clarified.
“Oh, yeah” Ollie was undaunted. “I meant the hero-sidekick thing, how everyone assumes we’re doing dirty things with these gorgeous kids in the–”
Arthur used his most regally authoritative voice to cut his friend off. “I know what you meant”.
“You never got that as much. Guess the whole breathing underwater thing is freaky enough. But Bats, man! Well, look at that kid, no wonder.”
Oh, wait. It gets better:
For just one fraction of a second, Nightwing closed his eyes and exhaled in time with a hot release of breath on the back of his neck, synching his breathing to the presence behind him almost instinctively. Even after all these years, the strange feeling of protective danger that ran up the back of his spine when he unexpectedly found himself in his mentor’s shadow thrilled and overwhelmed him… The entire room fell silent as all eyes turned to Batman. Only Nightwing remained with his back to him. Batman was standing so close behind him that Nightwing couldn’t turn around without bumping into him. Batman had learned years ago that it was the only way to keep him still.
(Yes, those are genuine excerpts. There is a hilarious comments thread discussing the book here, with commentary like “I usually get pissy at people who accuse devin of writing her own fantasies and favorite characters, because hi, EVERYONE does, but–but–this–I can honestly say it is MORE THAN I WANTED TO KNOW. Unless it’s some sort of game of publishing chicken, where she’s trying to see how obscene she can make it before they’ll actually refuse to print it, in which case–well, i think we should all start submitting our porn, CLEARLY IT IS DC-APPROVED.”)
Devin Grayson, I love you for managing to get this into print and past a DC so intent on otherwise keeping homoerotic overtones away from Batman that they shut down art shows that have no official connection to the company.