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Grendel: Red, White & Black #3

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2003
By: Craig Lemon



Writer: Matt Wagner
Artists: Michael Avon Oeming, Phil Noto, Zander Cannon, Ashley Wood, Mike Huddleston

Publisher: Dark Horse

Well, now, this is as close to a perfect Grendel comic as you can get.

Each of the five stories in this 48-page issue has points of interest - in the two prior issues at least one of the stories was a bit lacking, but here they all hit the mark. Not just that, but each is stylistically different, such that you can appreciate the particular talents of each artist involving, as opposed to reading two or three stories set in the same format, the same style, with nothing to tell them apart.

Phil Noto's story is a particular highlight (in the top two of the series so far) - just picture a comic story made up of Noto covers with appropriate text and you've got it. In fact his drawings are so good you being to wish the series was called Grendel: Red, White, Black, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange...(you get the idea) to get the full painted effect of each picture. Ashley Wood's contribution is also top-drawer - again a selection of full-page images with Wagner's text sensitively placed around them. Well designed pieces, and worth the price of admission on their own.

The other three stories tell involving tales of Grendel facing off against the wolf Argent in an earlier encounter, of Grendel tracking down a mob boss despite him being in a secret location and heavily guarded, and of how exactly bad guys get themselves patched up after fighting the bad fight and how "good" doctors can find themselves embroiled in a sticky situation despite themselves.

The only reason this book didn't hit the top mark is simply because if you're not familiar with Grendel and/or Hunter Rose, then much becomes meaningless...you need to appreciate Argent and Stacey to understand the nuances in their stories, and there is no allowances made for first-time readers. Despite this the book still works if you're unfamiliar with all that has gone before, you just need to work a little harder at it.



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