Thursday, January 24, 2013
GrimJack: Killer Instinct
Title: Killer Instinct
Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Tim Truman
First Publication: IDW Publishing, 2005
Cover: Tim Truman
Synopsis: The classic GrimJack team of Ostrander and Truman reunited to tell this story. GrimJack returns to the city of Cynosure, the nexus of all realities, where different worlds phase in and out of sync. In this story he takes on a vampire hired by his "friends" to take him out. He also makes his first visit to Munden's Bar where he meets many of the regulars from his original series.
I was a big fan of the original GrimJack series, created by Ostrander and Truman. Eventually Truman left the series but Ostrander continued with various other artists including Tom Mandrake, Tom Sutton, Steve Pugh and Flint Henry. It lasted through 81 issues and one graphic novel before the publisher went bankrupt.
In many ways the series reminds me of Roger Zelazny's Amber series. The similarities include a pulp style hero who uses a sword because guns don't work in every reality, a city at the center of reality, sorcery, demons, god like creatures and many others. Ostrander and Truman take the basic pieces and crafted a unique story that has withstood the test of time.
In "Killer Instinct", they chose to go back and tell a story that occurs before the first published GrimJack story. The story is fast paced and action packed while still taking the time to develop the various characters. One of my favorite parts was seeing how he met many of the people who were in the original series.
Ostrander gets a tip of the hat for coming up with a unique way for GrimJack to get revenge on the vampire. He has not lost his touch while the series languished in limbo from 1991 until this was published in 2005.
If anything, Truman has become an even better artist. His work on the original series was great but this is some of the best I have seen of his artwork.
It turned out that Zelazny was a big fan of the series. He even worked GrimJack into one of the later Amber books (Blood of Amber) and into one of the Amber short stories.