Written by Angela Rairden
Boom Studios’ Grim is exactly my type of comic. It’s horror with a splash of humor, a dash of sexiness, and an unexpected plot twist right in the first issue.
Written and created by Stephanie Phillips, who’s currently doing a bang-up job writing Harley Quinn over at DC, with truly gorgeous art by co-creator Flaviano (Power Man and Iron Fist, I Am Groot) Grim is the tale of grim reaper Jessica Harrow. Tasked with ushering the newly dead across the River Styx (if that’s what you want to call it), Jessica’s boredom and disillusionment about her job is clear. Like someone who’s worked in customer service for too long, Jessica’s attitude is that of someone who’s done the same thing every day for too long to recount, despite the supernatural nature of her job.
Issue one opens with Jessica meeting up with newly dead Bryan Michael Andrews, a drunk driver who slid off an icy road and met his demise. Clad in a skin-tight black and red outfit with big red boots and short black hair, her scythe glowing red over her shoulder, Jessica has a sort of cute but tough goth girl look to her. She explains to Michael that he’s died and that she’s there to help usher his soul to its next phase of existence, words that she’s clearly said hundreds if not thousands of times during her tenure as a reaper.
As she escorts Bryan’s soul to the afterlife, the two start talking (well, mostly Bryan starts talking and Jessica does her best to ignore him) and Bryan eventually asks Jessica how she died. In an effort to get him to stop pestering her with so much inane chatter, Jessica finally reveals that she doesn’t actually know how she died, a fact which sets her apart from even the other reapers.
Jessica having no memory of how she died is actually only one mystery in this series, however. When Bryan steals her scythe in hopes of reconnecting with his still-living ex, Jessica must track him down in New York City to get it back, where she makes an even more harrowing discovery – inexplicably, the living can see her!
With issue one ending on a cliffhanger that promises even more problems for our unorthodox heroine, Grim is a fast-paced and intriguing series. Flaviano’s art has that sense of realism to it that I personally enjoy in comics (i.e., it’s not “cartoony”, despite being an animation). Furthermore, the colors by Rico Renzi set the mood of each scene perfectly – from the cool blues of a snowy winter night to the brilliant reds of a soul crossing the river of the damned.
Grim’s first issue features fantastic variant covers such as Ivan Tao’s for Frankie’s Comics exclusive (sold out), as well as ratio variants by Jenny Frison, Mike Del Mundo, and Jae Lee (available for purchase here). With the first issue already getting a second printing and issue two set to release next Wednesday (June 15th), this is a title that you’re going to want to get your hands on.
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.