ramonnogueras's review

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3.0

Es demasiado largo. Esa es la razón de que la valoración no sea más alta. Leer seguidas tantas historias cortas muestra que, en realidad, muchas de ellas son repetitivas. Hay, eso sí, varias que son muy interesantes y que hacen que merezca la pena el viaje. Pero en conjunto, creo que este formato no es el mejor para este tipo de historias y este personaje.

adelaidemetzger_robotprophet's review

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4.0



Pros:
--The art in each issue is so freaking beautiful! I could eat up that art ALL day.
--Even though Grendel is one of a kind (character as well as story), it does hold a faint essence of Batman along with a taste of V for Vendetta--but I only say that because Grendel/Hunter Rose is deadly but still sophisticated like V. But it really is impossible to compare.
--Some of the stories in here I just ADORED! Really beautiful pieces of visual craft and story that deserve to be on display in glass cases.

Cons:
--Despite me loving the art and some of the stories, most of them overall sickened me. I’ve mentioned before in reviews like Watchmen that I’m not a fan of explicit sexual material (yes, it’s a shock that a 23-year-old adult is disturbed by adult material). To a rough ratio, every 3 out of 5 stories had some had some visual or descriptive account of oral, anal, or just regular sex. You know, you don’t have to “show” everything to make it effective to the plot (which some of it wasn’t even)--or are you just trying to remind the audience that this is a dark, gritty, world, pumped full of realism? I’m sure I’ll get over it, but let’s just say those impure images will stay in my head for a while.

Matt Wagner constructs pieces of literary and visual art with Devil by the Deed, Sympathy from the Devil, The Devil’s Week, and The Devil’s Due and the hosts of other artists are talented variants that bring the story of Grendel to life in the colors of black, white, and red.

Though I disagree with exposure of explicit content, this first omnibus is a treasure in the history of comics and literature. I just have extremely mixed feelings when I say I’m proud to have it on my shelf.

stevenk's review

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4.0

The first volume of the stories of Matt Wagner's Grendel presented in chronological order tells the story of his original creation, Hunter Rose, mysterious millionaire by day and expert assassin and criminal mastermind by night. The stories in this book pull in the entirety of the mythology that develops around the Grendel persona and shows the origin of the devil that inspired generations of characters to follow. Familiar superhero comic elements: extraordinary abilities, secret identities, young ward, magic, gangsters and dedicated police and reporters investigating it all presented with a decidedly dark and violent nior tone. Different artists illustrating stories in a palate limited to black & white & red give you something new every story and bring their own tone with them even though all of the tales are written by Wagner. This book reprints the stories from: Grendel: Devil by the Deed; Grendel: Black, White, & Red; Grendel: Red, White, & Black; and Grendel: Behold the Devil.

rabbithero's review

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3.0

The beginning and end of this are excellent, and the middle is a crazy mixed bag, with a ton of redundant 8 page stories about Grendel killing some mafia guy or another. Largely uninspired, a lot of them incredibly trite and a few utter gibberish. By the end of it, I was kind of sick of Hunter Rose. Frankly, "Devil by the Deed" is all you need, and is itself nearly flawless.

nigellicus's review

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5.0

The original Hunter Rose story that kicked off Grendel always seemed more like an elegant, well-drafted curiosity than anything else, compared to some of the meatier later incarnations of the spirit of violence. An abbreviated biographical summation of an anti-batman - gifted, wealthy young man dons a costume and runs around the streets of a bustling city, except Hunter Rose is a sociopath who seeks to dominate all those around him. It really is a fantastically strange story, particularly the inevitable nemesis in the form of a brutal immortal werewolf/wedigo named Argent. But the whole tragedy is executed in a masterpiece of design and layout.

Wagner returned to Hunter Rose years later in a series of anthologies published by Dark Horse, scripting by hm and illustrated by him and a host of incredible artistic talent. I read them all, but out of order. technically impressive, often gorgeous, marrying writing and art in a wide variety of moods and styles, this is the first time I've read them all in one sitting, along with the original, and it really is an amazing achievement, building up into an epic of crime and violence with sinister supernatural elements that come into full flower in the final chapter. It's novelistic, albeit a novel of thematic progression rather than linear, layering stories and viewpoints to create a vision of an elegant brilliant monster brought low by his one concessions to the softer human emotions.

Anyway, a major achievement in the field of comics. Wagner's abilities and skills have grown impressively since that first impressive experimental exploration of evil.
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