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Title: The Song of Groo
Series: Groo the Wanderer #1
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
A minstrel is singing about the (mis)adventures of Groo the Wanderer. First he is supposed to catch some food for the kingdom, but ends up stampeding the whole herd off the cliff, thus destroying all the livestock. Then he is supposed to guard a bridge against enemies. He guards the bridge, but lets the enemies pass and sack the city, as his duty was to guard the bridge. Finally, he is sent out as a decoy to capture one city while the king captures another. Only Groo captures the first city and when the king hears about it, he marches off to claim it for himself. One of Groo’s soldiers tells him the king had sent him off as a decoy and he wasn’t actually supposed to capture the city. So Groo gives the city back and the king and his army get the stuffing beaten out of them.
The book ends with Groo coming into the tavern, laughing at the stupid idiot in the song, only to realize it is himself and he starts chasing the minstrel with his swords drawn.
I had to do a bit of research before I could catalog this, as “Groo” had a tumultuous beginning. The creator, Argones, started with one independent press that went out of business, then did some standalones or small runs of Groo until Epic Comics picked him up. So technically, this series I’m reading is Groo the Wanderer Vol 2, Issue 1. Don’t worry about it, there are 120 issues for this run 😀 But what it does mean is that there are 12-20 comics about Groo before this that I can’t get a hold of. I don’t think it affects anything, but without reading them, who knows?
The first thing that struck me as I opened this issue was how busy it was. Mrs B was looking over my shoulder and commented that it reminded her of a Where’s Waldo page. Here’s the first page of the issue:
This was very light hearted and humorous and had no overarching narrative plot. To be honest, I think that is perfect for a once a month comic of only 23 pages. I hope the comic stays that way because sometimes you need a break from Big Stories. Even when you like them, Big Stories can be tiring.
On another note, the editor for this series is Archie Goodwin. I had to go look that up to see if it was a joke or what. Turns out it is his real name and as far as Wikipedia was concerned, had no relation or bearing from the Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe mystery books by Rex Stout. Not a big thing, but it was another humorous aspect to this comic 🙂