Groo: Fray of the Gods, by Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, Tom Luth and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse) | review by Stephen Theaker
Groo is one of my favourite comics characters of all time, his idiotically violent behaviour a reliable source of chuckles since the day I first read an issue. He’s better than Asterix, if you ask me, and the stories are better, and that he’s not quite as famous can only be down to him being published on the whole in single issues in the USA rather than albums in France. The previous series, Groo: Friends and Foes, was the comic at its very peak, fabulously coloured and brilliantly drawn (not to mention wittily scribed), with some of the detailed double-page spreads being absolutely stunning. It set the bar very high for this follow-up, which tells the story of an upstart god trying to take his place among the pantheon, and was originally announced as being twelve issues long, but by the time of release was down to four instead, with a new series to come soon. There’s no mention of the change in the issues themselves, but it does feel like the story reaches a natural conclusion. It shows us something of how religion works in Groo’s world (and ours too, for that matter) as the power of the gods waxes and wanes in proportion to how many believers they have. Groo causes the usual chaos, and there are plenty of chuckles to be chucked, and if it didn’t quite hit the glorious heights of the previous run it’s still one of the funniest things I read all year. ****
This review originally appeared in Theaker's Quarterly Fiction #59, which also included stories by Rafe McGregor, Michael Wyndham Thomas, Jessy Randall, Charles Wilkinson, David Penn, Elaine Graham-Leigh and Chris Roper.