By John Ostrander & Timothy Truman (IDW Publishing)
Grimjack originally appeared during the American comic industry’s last great flourishing in the 1980’s. Created by Ostrander and Truman as a back-up feature for Mike Grell’s Starslayer it ran in issues #10-18 before swiftly winning his own title at First Comics. He almost survived the company’s demise more than a decade later. In a crowded marketplace, and almost irrespective of who was doing the drawing, this hard-boiled fantasy action strip was a watchword for quality entertainment.
John Gaunt, Grimjack, is a combination private eye, ronin and all-around problem solver just scratching out a living in the fantastic pan-dimensional city of Cynosure, a huge metropolis that touches every place in the multiverse at once. A combination of dry wit, dark edged fantasy, spectacular action and a willingness to take narrative risks won him a lot of loyal fans.
In Killer Instinct, Ostrander and Truman take us back to a time immediately preceding Grimjack’s first appearance to flesh out the character for the old lags whilst introducing newcomers to a fresh, vibrant anti-hero struggling against a number of corrupt power-mongers, including insane paramilitaries and expansionist vampire cliques, whilst trying to find his own way. There is action aplenty and tremendous style for fans of genre-crossing.
This volume lead to the publishing those past classics in trade paperback compilations. I hope that will eventually mean new material. Well? I’m waiting…
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