Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones
Letterer: Stan Sakai
Colorist: Tom Luth
Release Date: 20th July, 2016
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said Let us make mankind… male and female he created them. Then, he made Groo, (probably with spare parts left over from the prototypes of Adam and Eve). However, he had sadly ran out of any brains to give him and lo the legend of Groo was born… well, hatched at least.
Groo is a fierce barbarian, his legendary skill with his twin katana blades unmatched on the face of the earth. He wanders from land to land with his loyal companion Rufferto the dog seeking out battle. He really doesn’t care with who or even with what, as long as the ‘fray’ as he calls it is fierce. He is, however, not a complete monster. When he isn’t possessed by his bloodlust for combat he is a politely honest mercenary (if there is such a thing) who does odd jobs to earn simple coin. Groo is also infinitely more accident prone and unlucky as Jonah; merely entering a village can cause famine to its people or by setting foot on a ship he can damn the crew to the deep; this gives Groo a reputation that strikes fear (for so many reasons) to any who hear his name.
In this latest tale, Groo is caught between two warring religious factions and is forced (not very hard mind you) into fighting for one of them. Looking down from on high, the Gods watch gleefully at the mayhem in their honour, all the while praying to whatever God listens to them that this marauding pawn does not decide to fight them as well as their armies.
Created by Sergio Aragones, ably assisted by the team of Mark Evanier, Stan Sakai and Tom Luth, Groo has had pretty much the same creative team behind him for the last thirty-four years. And this impressive longevity tells you basically all you need to know about the level of excellence with which they present this character.
If this series sounds completely insane, then that is because it is. The Groo stories are definitely not some historical parable intent on bringing the past to life. Instead, it’s very much a “check your brain at the door, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride” type of comic. It takes a comedic swipe all the barbarian or warrior films like Conan and Sinbad, mocking them for that which they take so seriously and making you smile while doing it.
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The writer of this piece was: John Patterson
John Tweets from @jpeg37