By Mitchel Scanlon & The Sharp Brothers (Black Library)
ISBN: 978-1- 84416-079-2
Sometimes we cognoscenti forget that for many people comics are merely a pastime, not a faith, and on those terms often what a browser wants is a read that resonates with their other interests.
At the beginning of this century role-playing company Games Workshop began publishing a short story magazine and monthly comicbook to augment the novels set in the fantasy worlds of their game packages. Warhammer (high fantasy in a Germano-feudal world), Warhammer 40,000 (total future war) and Necromunda (dystopian future city) scenarios were related in these periodicals and although the magazines are no longer with us the creators they fostered still are, and in the case of the many graphic novels compiled, the work is still fully available and excellent.
Some Swift and Brutal Hand by Mitchel Scanlon and Australian illustrators The Sharp Brothers is actually the second collection of the scar-faced soldier of fortune Hellbrandt Grimm; an archetypal loner-hero with a hidden past and killer’s eyes, totally unbeatable by either man, goblin or demon. You’ve seen the character in a hundred different places from The Outlaw Josie Wales to The Lone Wolf (but without the baby carriage) to Solomon Kane, and as the tales are instantly accessible no back story knowledge is necessary
In the eight short yarns collected here Grimm travels across the human lands righting wrongs his way, often accompanied by a Templar Witch-Hunter (don’t trouble yourself – think of him as the cop-buddy) exacting some private revenge against brigands and supernaturals everywhere.
Reminiscent of classic 2000AD strips (the art is black and white with tints and tones), these are stripped down, sleek accessible action romps, doused with irony and dry wit and designed to be read like a summer blockbuster – entertainment for its own sake!
If you’re a fantasy fan looking for a swift read and not a lifetime’s commitment this is the stuff for you. But beware: this much fun is potentially addictive…
© 2004 Games Workshop Limited. All Rights Reserved.