Monday, March 15, 2010

Grendel: Devil's Reign Softcover Graphic Novel

Grendel: Devil's Reign Softcover Graphic Novel

About the Book: The year is 2530, and the corrupt Church, Vatican Ouest, has fallen, spreading upheaval across North America, along with an infestation of vampires. In this new world, Ex-COP leader Pellon Cross is still at large, devil-possessed Eppy Thatcher is missing, and Orion Assante is on an ambitious quest to restore order to the continent and gain legitimate power. But will Orion attain his goals before threats from overseas change the rules in this game for power?

* Grendel: Devil's Reign is a groundbreaking synthesis of politics, war, religion, and the devil created by two of the top talents in comics!

* Artist Tim Sale's work can be seen in the NBC hit show Heroes!

* Brand new painted cover by Grendel creator Matt Wagner!

Tim Sale's first major series in comics, collected for the very first time!

Our Take: Here at Book Legion we love comic books.  We love everything from Batman to the Goon.  One of the top series in my book is Grendel.  Dollar for dollar, I don't ever feel that a Grendel book is a waste of money.  I've been following Matt Wagner's masterpiece since back in 1992.  I've read everything that has been published to date and I certainly have my favorites.  I've even had some of my letters published in the back of a few issues.

Grendel began as a simple comic book character in the early 1980s.  Wagner had no idea at that time that one wise-assed assasin would eventually become a worldwide epidemic that would span thousands of years.   Grendel is often referred to as 'the Devil'.  Grendel is the spirit of aggression.  It flows through different hosts throughout the ages, causing mischief and destruction.  It is important to note that the Devil in this instance is not in reference to the Devil of Christianity.

One of the stand-out story arcs in the Grendel saga is the tale of Orion Assante.  That tale is best told through the neo-political epic 'Devil's Reign'.  Who is Orion Assante?  In the scope of the Grendel universe, he is everything.  Orion will later be known as the Grendel Khan.  The savior of all mankind.  He begins his illustrious career by taking down the church, headed by the evil Pope Innocent XLII (who is secretly a vampire, and shows up later in Grendel lore), back in the 'God and the Devil' arc.  This subsequent tale shows Orion's rise to power.  The story format is very unique, in that much of it is done in news broadcasts and other person to person discussions.  Never before have I read such a dialogue-driven comic book.  Your average book takes me 5-10 minutes to read.  One of the Devil's Reign issues could take 30 minutes, easily.

This venture represents Tim Sale's very first foray into major comic book artistry.  He did a bang-up job, too.  Sale has gone on to pen some very famous comics, like Batman: The Long Halloween.   This new trade paperback collects this story arc for the first time.  It was re-released as the Devil's Reign mini-series by Dark Horse years ago, with updated colors and new covers by Sale.  The collected graphic novel features brand-new cover art by Sale, as well.  The re-print covers are showcased inside to divide each chapter of the tale.

The cool thing about Grendel is that you don't have to start at the beginning.  I myself began with 'War Child' and backtracked.  We cannot recommend this series enough to any adult comic book fan.  I do want to stress that Grendel is NOT a children's comic.  It should be viewed by adults only.  Watch for more Grendel reviews here on the Legion.

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For more about Grendel, visit the following links:  Dark Horse Comics - Vivat Grendel: The Grendel Fansite

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