Writers: Matt Wagner
Dark Horse, 2000
Been a long time since I’ve thought of that name.
Back in the early 80s, Matt Wagner made a big splash with GRENDEL which was one of the early successes for independent comics. Then Wagner did something completely unexpected and killed the character. It was hard to imagine the series continuing after that but Wagner did it and did it amazingly. He shifted the focus from the character to the mantle of Grendel as it overcame several different people and provided a series that was truly unique and innovative.
But, like all good characters, the original Grendel can’t quite stay dead. This book collects a limited series which highlighted stories about the original Grendel, Hunter Rose. Some are quite excellent, some are somewhat mystifying but all are worth reading and they bring an unexpected depth to a character that had a very short publishing life.
There are a variety of artists here and they all do a good job with some of them being quite outstanding.
I haven’t thought about Grendel in a very long time and find that I miss both the character and Wagner’s (to me) groundbreaking art and design. I may have to read some more of the old ones again soon. I also realize that I miss Kevin Matchstick.
4. A great collection of stories but it really helps if you’re already familiar with Grendel and his story.