Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grendel: God & The Devil Graphic Novel Review

Grendel: God & The Devil Graphic Novel Review

About the Book: In the centuries since the mask of Grendel was last seen, humanity's survived a third World War, the fall of Western Civilization, and the rise of an all-powerful church state. But when the depraved Pope Innocent XLII begins construction of a new church tower hiding a powerful and deadly secret, two men will rise against the church's corruption. One is Orion Assante, a man determined to expose the Pope for who he really is. The other is a mysterious figure wearing the all-too-familiar face of Grendel! Grendel: God and the Devil masterfully interweaves sanity with madness, churches with corporations, and good with evil in one of the most stunning and prophetic stories of modern comics. One of Wagner's riskiest and most compelling works, this massive volume will thrill every Grendel fan, and dazzle anyone searching for a great story told in a whole new way.

Our Take: We recently reviewed the Grendel arc that comes after 'God and the Devil', which is Grendel: Devil's Reign.  Now, we're going to go backwards in time and show you how Orion Assante gained his power over the world and how Grendel got the last laugh!  This tale is a decent into madness, deptravity, greed, corruption and heresy.  What more could you want from a comic book? 

'Grendel: God and the Devil' collects the Dark Horse Grendel issues #0-10 of God and the Devil, which were re-colored and re-covered editions of the classic Comico Grendel #22-33.  This story recounts how Pope Innocent XLII moves to take over the world and employ his 'sun gun'.  Meanwhile, the newest Grendel is Eppy Thatcher and he is on a one-man guerilla mission to take down the church.   Eppy is unstable at best and in a constant state of dillusion.  Thankfully, Orion Assante has his head on straight and is investigating the church's activities.  Unfortunately, Orion underestimates Innocent and it ends up costing his twin sisters/lovers their lives.  In the midst of this epic the church will fall and the devil will rise!

This collected edition is presented in a softcover graphic novel format.  The front features the dynamic cover art for Grendel: God and the Devil #10, and the back cover features more of the cover art from the re-print series.   The book retails for around $30.  It does not include any extras or sketch pages, but its a collection of one of the best adult comic book series of all time.  This one is what Grendel is all about.  It, coupled with 'Devil's Reign', is a magnum opus for Wagner that still shines brightly today.

One thing that I have to note...the art of John K. Snyder III really stands out here.  He has always been innovative, but without his unique style this arc wouldn't have been the same.  Its also so enjoyable to see how much he's grown as an artist with the quality of his newer covers that he did for the Dark Horse re-prints of this classic Comico series!

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.

How to Buy: Amazon.com or the Dark Horse Comics website

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