Now had they cast Angelina Jolie as Christine Spar for the movie, she would have played both Grendel and Grendel’s mother during her career.
So all this talk over the last few days about rereading your old comics, combined with a brief Twitter-chat with Awesome Hospital‘s Matt Digges, all on top of my finally rereading Mage: The Hero Defined (yes, I got around to it!), has put me in the mood to revisit Matt Wagner’s other major series Grendel.
My original exposure to the character of Grendel was as a back-up in the first Mage series, later collected in that graphic album I showed you two days ago. And then there was the forty-issue series from Comico, followed a few years later by multiple mini-series from Dark Horse, with the Devil’s Vagary one-shot from the Comico Collection and a Silverback mini-series (starring Grendel’s nemesis Argent) mixed in there, somewhere.
Also along the way, I’d acquired the original unfinished Grendel mini-series which was later retold in drastically different fashion in the Mage back-ups. I eventually sold those off, which I’m kind of sorry about, since I really did like those big, clunky black and white comics with their semi-amateurish but compelling covers…but they’ve all been collected, including the covers (and the actual debut of Grendel from Primer #2, which I never owned) into a hardcover, so maybe I’ll grab one of those to replace their loss.
Now, I’d read that forty-issue series, which picked up with the second Grendel (Christine Spar, “granddaughter” of the original Grendel Hunter Rose), which then proceeded to pass on the Grendel character to other characters as the series progressed, and the setting of the series was pushed farther and farther still into the future, and as that series ended and the continuity continued through the multiple Dark Horse minis…I eventually lost interest, it seemed. In fact, in a very rare occurrence in my years as a comics fan, I actually stopped reading the Grendel comics halfway through one of the mini-series (Devil’s Choices, from 1995).
Even though it’s been (urgh) seventeen years, I’m reasonably sure my decision to quit midway through that series had nothing to do with the solid creative team of Darko Macan and the late Edvin Biukovic, and more to do with just having had enough Grendel. Plus, the further away we got from Hunter Rose and Christine Spar, the less interest I had in the ongoing saga. However, now, with an impending rereading of all these Grendel comics planned, I find myself interested in picking up the last two issues of Devil’s Choices, as well as the two Grendel Tales minis that followed. In fact, I keep meaning to grab them at the shop, as soon as I (ha ha) have some free time at work.
My self-imposed Grendel hiatus was relatively short-lived, as just a few years later we returned to the Hunter Rose-era Grendel with the Black, White and Red anthology series, followed by another series in a similar vein a couple of years later, and a full-length Hunter Rose story in Wagner’s Behold the Devil mini in 2007-8. (In fact, I may have jumped ahead and reread that Behold the Devil mini Thursday evening, prior to writing this post.)
I enjoyed those later Hunter Rose minis. I liked the early stuff quite a bit, and I enjoyed most of the forty-issue series from Comico. …I honestly don’t recall how much I enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) the follow-up Dark Horse Comics Grendel minis, as it’s been so long since I’ve read them. Thus, a good candidate for a rereading, I think.
So anyway, I’ve got my Grendel comics pulled out of the Vast Mikester Comic Archives, and they’re sitting here on my desk ready to be perused, and…hmmm, that’s like almost half a small comics box-worth pile of funnybooks, there. Thatsa lotta Grendel. …I’ll let you know how it goes.