Friday, September 12, 2014

Comic Book Review - GRENDEL VS. THE SHADOW #1 By Matt Wagner From Dark Horse

Grab it Right
Matt Wagner created the original incarnation of Grendal  Hunter Rose back in the 80's for Comico, the character whose tragic history is the first of a blood soaked stepping stone of the Grendal legend has remained a favorite of mine forever.
Now over the last couple of years of the late two thousands Matt has been dealing with the pulp corner stone hero 'The Shadow" over at Dynamite Entertainment whose comics have been using every public domain super hero in their comics rather well. These books have included 'The Shadow'.  So it only seems natural that they'd combined the two into a thinking man's 'vs' title. This story line does not break or screw around with the contingency of the Grendel Hunter Rose events, if anything it enhances it.
 According the Dark Horse byline : 
Sparks fly and bullets blaze when the original Grendel, Hunter Rose, is transported to 1930s New York and faces off with the original dark-night avenger, the Shadow! Two pulp-noir icons go head to head in this three-issue prestige-format series written and drawn by legendary Grendel creator Matt Wagner.
The ideas here are pulptastic and the background artwork is full of bits and pieces that are a love letter to the pulp that Mr. Wagner loves so dearly. Its the little touches such as the Universal Mummy film playing in the background of issue one when Grendal makes an appearance. The Shadow here is in top form and as dangerous as he comes. The byplay between the two would make a wonderful film ala Sin City. But that's just this humble writer's opinion. The art work is very well done if your into Wagner's take on the characters and I'm. 

Everything about this issue sets up the events to come and the story telling is tight, the take on the characters is spot on and this is really a pleasure to read and a nice break from the hum drum of some of the other market efforts that I've seen lately. Each of the characters here is right within their pulp elements and in top form. The pulp era of  'The Shadow' is perfectly made for Hunter Rose. 

Matt does a really nice bit of character evolution as Hunter Rose adapts, confronts, and deals with the 1930's head on. This is Rose's element and he's enjoying every blood soaked noir second of it. 
The bits of him that we really get to see make Wagner's return to his character a nice bit of added punch to his creation and artwork. 

For me the pulp slut that I'm, this has been one of September's more wonderful little noir treats. Its nice to see Matt Wagner in full blood soaked bloom here. The action is very well done and the ideas are fresh as a rose. I can't wait to see issue two. If you love you Noir dark and with an intelligent story grab this one and follow this mini series which looks like its going to be a bloody brilliant and homicidal pulpy fun ride. 

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