Rating: 4/5 – I Was Grinning Ear to Ear for the Entire Issue!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Fans have been waiting for this epic meet-up for years and it’s finally on the stands! Who will be triumphant? Who will slay? Who will get all the cheese dip? Only Mark Evanier & Sergio Aragonés know at this point, we’re still in very early stages of this crossover so far.
If you want to know how they can pull off a meeting between these 2 characters, check out the preview pages here. The preview worked REALLY good for me, with Thomas Yeates illustrating the more serious world of Conan and Sergio obviously doing the Groo sequences. The blending of the styles/worlds worked nicely too, including the nod to the stylistic differences as villagers from Groo’s world wander into a Yeates drawn landscape.
What I was not expecting was the large amount of framing sequence starring Sergio & Mark themselves (9 of the 22 pages in this issue). Fans of Mark/Sergio should eat up the humor and situations, reveling in Sergio’s signature art style and the plot device that gives an explanation of exactly how Groo and Conan can actually meet up in the first place. In talking about this comic at their “Sergio & Mark” panel at Comic Con International: San Diego on July 24th, Aragonés and Evanier addressed the need to be able to come up with exactly this kind of framing sequence to make the “impossible” meeting come across as plausible in the context of the story. Evanier’s story does just that. It was also interesting to hear Yeates discuss how he followed Sergio’s layouts almost exactly even though he was given the freedom to do whatever he wanted. “They were perfect”, said Yeates.
This first issue was a nice setup primarily showcasing Sergio’s art with a nice integration of Thomas Yeates more realistic style on 7 pages of the issue. Groo and Conan don’t actually meet in this issue, but the epic meeting of the sword-wielding barbarians is coming. This is highly recommended, if you’ve never read a Groo comic or Sergio’s other work give this a try. If you like the humor and the art then you have a LOT of back issue bin diving ahead of you, there are over 150 issues of Groo out there and most are relatively inexpensive. I was grinning ear to ear the whole time I was reading this issue.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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