Grendel vs The Shadow #1
Pictures: Matt Wagner
This book hits me in several of my sweet spots. (Man, I really need to think these things through before I type them out.) Matt Wagners’ Grendel is the bad guy you can’t help but root for. And The Shadow, well, I’ve been a fan of The Shadow for years. You can thank my Dad. He used to buy me old time radio plays (on cassette, I know, I’m old, don’t judge me), I even saw the movie. (I didn’t say I liked the movie, I said, I saw the movie.)
I really like what Matt Wagner is doing here. I like pulpy, noir-y (pretty sure that’s a word) stories, and I dig the dark, cool looking anti-hero. Throw in a sultry femme fatale and some good old fashioned crime family tension, and I’m a pretty happy camper. You don’t have to know anything about Grendel going in to this series either. (I really didn’t. I’ve been aware of the character for years, but never actually read any of the Grendel books. Ok, you can judge me.) Matt gives you enough set up and back story right up front, and then it’s full tilt story time. The biggest problem I have in with this book is who to root for. It’s like when Hulk Hogan took on The Rock at Wrestlemania X8. You were supposed to love The Rock and hate Hogan, but the crowd cheered just as loudly for Hogan, if not louder, than they did for The Rock. I dig Hunter Rose as Grendel. He’s slick, he’s confident, he knows he’s in charge. But then again, The Shadow is The Shadow. He’s just plain old school cool in my book. Bottom line here is, either way you look at it, you come out a winner with this book.
4 out of 5 Rock Bottoms