Review - Grendel Devil's Odyssey #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"Remember your mandate."

Grendel is a character know for relatively easily handling anything thrown his way. In Grendel Devil's Odyssey #1 Dark Horse Comics, that involves planet-hopping. The issue is written and illustrated by Matt Wagner, colored by Brennan Wagner and lettered by Dave Lanpear.

Grendel Prime searches the stars for a new home for mankind, and Matt Wagner returns to his darkest creation! As civilization comes to an end on Earth, the final Grendel Khan gives Grendel Prime a new directive: Find a perfect planet to be the new home for the human race. But will the deadly and relentless paladin ultimately save humanity...or destroy it?

Wagner has explored the Grendel character for quite some time now and his familiarity shows in the issue. That's not necessarily a bad thing, although the plot of the issue feels somewhat familiar in the grand scheme of things in that there's not much that stands out. In fact, Wagner is tapping into what feels like the 90s era for the script, throwing Grendel into a series of situations that offer a nostalgia for that era of comics. Grendel has a brooding mentality where his focus on the mission interferes with his ability to banter. Wagner ends the issue somewhat expectedly as well, with Grendel achieving a certain level of unexpected celebrity that will likely dictate where the next issue goes.

Wagner's artwork also feels as if its rooted in the 90s--specifically Image Comics of the 90s. Grendel is illustrated with an attention to physique and (at least stylistically) there are moments when he can easily be mistaken for Spawn. That's not to say Wagner is copying anyone's style as Grendel was born in the 90s, but it feels as if his look hasn't changed at all really in the decades since then. There's a variety of panel arrangements and types throughout the issue that keep the reader on their toes. Brennan Wagner's colors are very earthy and dark, grounding the book in a heavy dose of space.

Grendel Devil's Odyssey #1 is another entry in the long-running series that pits Grendel against the vastness of space. Grendel is on a mission to save a civilization, but what he finds along the way may prove to be surprising even for him. Wagner's script is pretty straightforward in its presentation and pacing. Wagner's artwork looks extremely familiar and leans heavily on the character's origin decades ago. Grendel Devil's Odyssey #1 will definitely appeal to fans of the character looking for a new adventure to see him work his way through.

Grendel Devil's Odyssey #1 is available October 2.