Synopsis and review by Cat-Scratch
The story opens with a ceremony being held around a bonfire. A group pray and chant to their god Manwyyse. A woman begins to disappear. John Gaunt aka Grimjack is on a job, to reclaim the Manx Cat, a small black statue. The building it’s in is on fire, but this doesn’t stop him. There he finds the present possessor of the Manx Cat. He says the cat’s going back and the holder gets to choose the easy way or the hard way. He chooses the hard.
Grimjack quickly kills him and jumps out a window of the burning building. At the ground where he lands,he’s met by the “proper owner” of the Manx Cat. The owner complains that it’s been marred and won’t pay.Grimjack threatens to mar the owner’s face. He quickly pays Grimjack. From behind Grimjack comes the vanishing woman from the opening, she’s seeking out Grimjack she says. He replies that she’s found him. She explains that she was told that he could help her find her missing god, Manwyyes. She gives her name, Elvanna, the high priestess of the Kyrians. The Kryians are explained as a forest dwelling peoples being wiped out by the desert living followers of Zago. She come seeking out their god that hasn’t answered their prayers or seemed to hear their pleas as they die. By using the Rite of Llues, she has traveled to Grimjack’s home, the pan dimensional city of Cynosure,also known as the center of the multiverse. It’s here, in this city, that anything is possible from one block to another. On one, science may rule, on another, magic. It has many names, Nirvana, Hell even one thought it was called Tanelorn. But it’s true name is Cynosure and where they were in particular was the part called simply the Pit. The slum of all slums, the darkest most despairing place in all the city. Violence is the norm there if one is to survive. It’s also where Grimjack was born and raised. They go to a cantina called Wu Fang’s. It’s the place where Manwyyes can be found according to Grimjack. He knows Elvanna’s god personally. He gives her a warning prior to entering the cantina, a person outside leaves as Grimjack responds to his question of a fight coming. They enter and Grimjack points to a bent over old man, drunk at a table. He explains that that is her god, Manwyyes aka Weevil aka Manny Weese. Manny swears to kill Grimjack for this…………………
The Review :
This is the first in a series of back up stories that premiered the character of Grimjack, in Starslayer. Which in turn would be spun out into the ongoing monthly called Grimjack. What can say? It was a great start to a great character and series. In 1983, there were few if any characters like this in North American comics. I was hooked. Tim Truman’s art was amazing to behold. Not since Joe Kubert had I seen such heavy dark brush stroked inks that worked so well to set the mood. They worked well with the colouring and the story to give an incredible atmosphere. Film noir? Sure. Gritty? You bet! To note, Tim Truman did attend the Joe Kubert school, so that does explain his amazing looking artwork. The choice to have the main character narrate was terrific, considering it was shown that while he was someone not to be messed about with, he was past his prime. This gave a nice dynamic where the reader had no idea how well Grimjack would survive the story.Ostrander was definitely showing his chops here. I was seriously hooked back then and I still am today. This was a short but sweet and tantalizing story then and still is now. I think it holds up more then well and shows it’s qualities in that.
Wiki entry = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimjack
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Posted originally: 2008-06-13 01:47:12