Silverwolf’s Den: Grodd of War

Last week, I reviewed one of the many titles in DC Comic’s latest event, Flashpoint. Here, again, I’ve delved into this new event, this time with a one-shot: Grodd of War.

Grodd of War focuses on the villain Gorilla Grodd, a telepathic primate who, through desire, deviousness, and a whole lot of destruction seizes control of the entire African continent. He is, however, not content with this state of affairs: the few remaining insurgents bore him as he searches hopelessly for a conflict that can pique his interest. Grodd is also displeased that Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s war in Europe has seized the world’s attention despite that fact that he has cut a swathe of carnage across Africa; here is perhaps a parallel to current events, where happenings in Africa, at least in American media, are usually overlooked or given less coverage despite the magnitude of the occurrences.

Grodd is an enticing character. He was originally a Flash villain and, I must admit, I don’t have very much knowledge or exposure to him aside from an episode or two of Justice League. Even so, Grodd quickly established himself as a character in just the first few pages of the comic. Grodd’s characteristics set him apart from most other individuals in the DC Universe. Not to play Captain Obvious, but perhaps his most interesting feature is that he is not human: he possesses genius level intellect, yet all the savagery and primal urges of a wild animal pervade his consciousness. Yet, Grodd’s actions and ambitions mirror those of numerous leaders throughout history: he slaughters recklessly, rules with an iron fist, and seeks to expand his fame and his empire’s borders. Perhaps in an ironic twist Grodd completes what no human ever has, the unification of an entire continent (not counting Australia, here).

The plot of Grodd of War is original and intriguing, but in some ways that’s a problem. Since the story is only a one-shot, I was left at the end wanting to see and read more. I won’t spoil the ending, but it is hinted that the tale could continue, though Grodd would have to show up in one of the other Flashpoint titles, a move that I’m not sure the writers will make. In my opinion, that’d be a shame, since there’s a lot they could do with such a unique character. Even so, since the story is a one-shot it’s nice for people who don’t have the time, energy, or funds to follow a story with multiple parts.

Grodd of War’s artwork is good, but by no means amazing. I enjoyed the scenes of Grodd fighting and of his capitol deep in the jungles of Africa, but there were other panels that, while well drawn and colored, did not stand out as particularly astounding. Even so, I felt the grittier take on the artwork fit a story about an anthropomorphic gorilla waging a brutal war against humanity.

Overall, I enjoyed Grodd of War and it was worth the purchase. I wish this story could continue, but perhaps stretching out the story would not have worked for whatever reason and may have cheapened the character and setting. I feel that most readers would enjoy it if they take the comic for what it is: a snapshot of the life of one character, at a particular moment in time, in a particular part of the world. Don’t go in looking for a harrowing tale or astounding art and instead grab the comic with the intention of looking at something that’s totally different than much of what’s out there.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Brett Simon is a 21 year old recent reconvert to the world of comics. Next time he’s at the local zoo he’ll be sure to keep an eye on the gorillas.

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Silverwolf

Moar Powah's very own Clark Kent.

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