Story: Matt Wagner
Art: Matt Wagner
Colors: Brennan Wagner
Letterer: Dave Lanpear
What They Say:
Matt Wagner! Searching the stars for a new home for mankind, Grendel Prime encounters a strange and primitive alien race. Along with his drone companion, Sigma-Seven, the immortal cyborg must decide if humanity can coexist in a world where the inhabitants must literally hunt for water.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Getting back into the world of Grendel was definitely welcome the last time around, though I’ll admit a good part of me wishes we were past the Grendel Prime era already. The character has, in my view, overstayed its welcome compared to other incarnations over the years and I’d like to get something new. Thankfully, Matt Wagner is doing some new with it by bringing him to space in search of a new world for humanity to inhabit, which is giving him time to really examine the individual worlds that might be suitable and deal with what’s there. And it gives Wagner a chance to do something new on the illustration/creative side so that we’re not just getting simple humanoid creatures.
The arrival at this world, the first truly viable one, has them being introduced to the race that Sigma-Seven has identified as the Gyk. While Prime can’t talk to them directly, Sigma is able to and does a lot of translating. The gyk are interesting and Wagner gets into it well with the different types there are, gender, reproduction, as well as some of the class system that exists. It’s a very barren world in a lot of ways with a harsh way of life bt they’ve sustained through good use of what has come before and being smart about working toward what they need. We get a good introduction to all of it as sigma lays it out and we see the kind of quasi-religious relationship they have with water, exploring how they meditate and capture it through their heads during the infrequent rainstorms that come through the area.
All of this leaves Prime in a position where he thinks it’s all workable and humanity can live with this and get things done alongside the Gyk. That misses a lot of points, which Sigma does try to point out, but I had to laugh at his blunt force way of trying to get on the Gyk’s good side instead of working through Sigma. It makes clear why Sigma is critical to Prime’s mission as he can’t really think through a lot of these things and will do things that make sense on an almost childlike level but won’t be helpful with the more complex problems. The dynamic between Sigma and Prime is definitely interesting, though I felt a bit sad that the time with Gyk unfolds as badly as it does here. Bad colonizer! Bad!
With this being an eight-issue run there’s an opportunity to play around with a couple of worlds first before hopefully settling into dealing with one in particular and moving the narrative forward. This issue wraps up the first world – and never use the first world you find – and starts to get us on our journey again after showing just what it is that Prime has to learn in order to do this job. It’s well-handled overall with what it does and I love the exploration of the Gyk and just how detailed yet basic all of the information is. And just how little of it Prime thinks matters in order to make an informed choice.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 6th, 2019