Pigs and Apples (Groo the Wanderer #9) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Pigs and Apples
Series: Groo the Wanderer #9
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 23
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

The Sage narrates an adventure he and Groo had. There were 2 villages. One held that apples were sacred and not to be eaten and the other held that pigs were sacred and not to be eaten. Groo goes hungry but the Sage tells him a way to get all the food he eats, ie, to incite war between the villages. Groo plays both sides off the other and eats all the apples and pigs he wants. Only to find out that the ban on them both was because they were all poisonous. Everyone gets really sick.

The Sage is lauhing his head off while telling the tale at an inn and has just finished an apple and pork dumpling. The mistress of the inn asks the name of the Sage’s companion in the story and tells them it was “Groo”. She screams “but Groo just sold us all these pigs and apples”. Upon hearing this, everyone in the inn promptly gets sick.

My Thoughts:

Close to the best Groo story so far. I was worried when it started out with the Sage narrating as I don’t like his character, but the story was all about Groo so that was ok.

Of course, I should have seen the ending coming a mile away but since I didn’t it was a hilarious and yet entirely “Groo” ending.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Treasure of Kantor (Groo the Wanderer #8) ★★★✬☆

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Title: The Treasure of Kantor
Series: Groo the Wanderer #8
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 24
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

Groo runs into an old “friend” at the ruins of Kantor. Said friend has betrayed Groo 20 times before but swears he won’t do it again. He wants Groo to guard him and his crew as they loot the burial ground of the Kantors, who are giant ape warriors.

Groo fights the Kantors and runs a patrol off. He also finds the treasure but his “friend” tricks him and runs off with the whole treasure. They run into the rest of the Kantors who enslave them. Groo returns with the king who hired the “friend” and the issue ends with them about to run into the Kantors as well.

The moral of this issue is “When you double cross a friend, you triple-cross yourself”.

My Thoughts:

Ahhhh, good stuff! Groo beats the stuffing out of giant warrior apes and yet is fooled for the 21st time by a supposed “friend”. Groo might be mighty but by gum, is he stupid!

That brawn and simplicity is what makes this so amusing though. Also, the badguys always get what is coming to them in one way or another. I love that!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Ivory Graveyard (Groo the Wanderer #7) ★★★✬☆

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Title: The Ivory Graveyard
Series: Groo the Wanderer #7
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 24
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

This has two stories, one about Groo and one about a character named the Sage.

The Groo story has Groo first defending a group of poachers and then trying to kill them all. They sail away on a boat and Groo’s luck with boats is known so nobody will help him. He hears the legend about the elephant graveyard and seeks it out to sell the ivory to buy cheese dip. He finds it and the story ends with a dying elephant falling onto his head.

The Sage gives a child a candy and makes him feel better and some city guards see it and think he is a great physician. They take him to the palace and the queen tells the Sage to heal the King, who is very sick, or she will torture him to death. The Sage finds the king dead in bed. Instead of panicking, he locks the door, starts hollering about how he’s healed the king and then throws the body out of the window. Thus ensuring that the death of the king wouldn’t fall on his head.

My Thoughts:

This was once again a little amusing interlude to break up the day. The most amusing parts to me were when Groo was trying to hire a boat to chase the poachers and ended up sinking one boat in 4 seconds and another instance of a guy chopping up his own boat “to save time”, hahahahaa. Of course, the final panel is just priceless. How can you not laugh at that irony?

The Sage story wasn’t as funny but the twisted thinking of the Sage (throwing the dead king out the window to fake the king’s death) really aligned with me and brought a smile to my face. I have no idea if he’ll start sharing page time with Groo or if this was just a one-off that Aragones needed to get off of his chest. Personally, while I like Groo better, having 2 stories for the price of 1 is nice and adds just enough variety to keep things interesting. Of course, if the Sage keeps showing up and keeps thinking empty-headed aphorisms all the time, I reserve the right to change my head and want to behead him with a wakizashi 😉

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Eye of the Kabula ★★★★☆

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Title: Eye of the Kabula
Series: Groo the Wanderer #6
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 24
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

Groo swims to land after being shipwrecked in the previous issue. He comes across a village that is having bad luck because their lucky ruby was stolen. Groo sets off to find the ruby and get a reward. He tracks it down until he finds a king who has a ruby fetish. Groo dresses up like a female slave to get into the palace and steals the ruby. He takes it back to the village, only to have the king’s army follow him. Groo flees the village as the army wants him dead and the villagers want him dead for leading the army to their village. Groo just can’t win.

My Thoughts:

This was more amusing and less “moralizing” than the previous issue.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Slavers ★★★☆☆

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Title: Slavers
Series: Groo the Wanderer #5
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 24
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

Groo has run out of money, food and options. When he is conscripted into a navy, he beats all the soldiers to a pulp. A merchant sees his prowess and hires him. The merchant is a slaver and uses Groo to capture a lot of slaves on an island. Groo sets all the slaves free and the slave enslave the slavers. Groo doesn’t want anybody to be a slave and so starts killing everyone. The original slavers slink off, only to be eaten by wild animals. Groo makes it back to ship and they sail away. The issue ends with Groo on watch in the crow’s nest but asleep. The ship is headed for a sheer cliff.

My Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure WHERE this was going when the slaves ended up enslaving the slavers. I should have known that Groo would end up trying to kill everyone though. That’s what Groo does best after all!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

World Without Women ★★★✬☆

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Title: World Without Women
Series: Groo the Wanderer #4
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 26
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

Many village women are kidnapped by air pirates and Groo is hired to rescue them. He “trains” the villagers by eating all their food and then bashing them on the head. Groo gets tangled up in the airship, rescues the women and then finds out they never wanted to be rescued as they were being treated like princesses. That’ll teach Groo to try to be nice!

My Thoughts:

When Groo first meets the men of the villages and they recite a litany of why they need their wives back, it was obvious what was going to happen at the end. It really felt like a bad joke that you tell just so you can say the horrible punchline and make everyone groan.

I have to admit, I envy those people who can read something like this and then write 1000 words about the color palette, shading and artwork and how it all affects the entire tone of the issue. They’ll describe in detail some tiny part and then syllogistically tie the end page to the beginning page and seem to actually make sense. While at times envious, I am also convinced those people are full of horse pucky.

So have no fear, you need not fear deep and pretentious twaddle from me. I stick to the shallow end of the pool, just like Groo.

(This message is approved by Groo)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Medallion ★★★✬☆

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Title: The Medallion
Series: Groo the Wanderer #3
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 26
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

Groo is starving and looking for someone to rescue and be rewarded. He hears a distress call and saves a caravan from some soldiers. The leader of the caravan gives Groo a medallion and tells him he is now one of the Chosen Ones. Turns out it is a Hetitian medallion and Hetitians are deadly enemies of the Melenites, who don’t wear medallions. Groo uses and discards the medallion at the worst possible moments and ends up destroying a peace treaty that one town had forged between the Hetitians and the Melenites.

The comic ends with Groo rescuing another caravan and his reward is a ring, a symbol that he is, once again(!), one of the chosen ones. The last page depicts him chasing down the caravan leader.

My Thoughts:

This was a nice little amusing read to wile away a few minutes one evening. This comic series is not one that is deeply thought provoking or steeped in hidden moral teachings that will suddenly transform your life. If it does that, you should be seriously worried about how bad things must be for you.

Given the one shot nature of each story and the comedic tone, reading one of these a month seems to be just about the right amount. I am amused. I chuckle. I look closely at the drawings. Then I am done and moving onward to some heavier fare.

I regularly eat candied ginger cubes and one of the benefits of ginger is as a digestive aid. It works for me. If I have made the mistake of over-eating, I’ll eat 2 ginger cubes and while not being miraculously transformed into a muscle bound pro-athlete or even become hungry again, my stomach does settle down. I am finding that Groo is sliding into that niche for my book reading habits. I’ll read it in 10 or 15 minutes and be done for the evening. That is just what the mind needs sometimes after reading a tome that has occupied my mind for the better part of a week.

Groo is an essential part, just like breakfast cereal, of a complete and balanced literary meal. How else do you expect to get your fruit if you’re not eating Froot Loops after all?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Dragon Killer! ★★★☆☆

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Title: Dragon Killer!
Series: Groo the Wanderer #2
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 23
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

Groo is about to cut the minstrel’s balls off and to save himself, the minstrel says he’ll sing Groo’s praises instead of mocking him. Groo agrees and they head to another town. The minstrel is singing and they end up getting thrown in jail for singing at the princes’s funeral procession. The prince was killed trying to slay the marcosa, a dragon that exacts tribute of gold, food and women. The minstrel realizes this is their ticket out of jail and sings a song about what a great dragon killer Groo is.

Groo heads off to the valley, with a group of soldiers behind him to make sure he doesn’t run away. He finds out that the “dragon” is just a device used by an old man who has been tricking the villagers. He offers the reigns of power to Groo but Groo doesn’t want to give up fighting. He diverts a small stream into the lava pit and makes the volcano erupt, inundating the town with lava and destroying it completely.

But no more dragon!

My Thoughts:

There is another two page spread that once again looks like a Where’s Waldo page and I wonder if that will be the modus operandi from here on out. I hope so, because it is pretty fun to look at 🙂

I had to laugh at the first page because Dix had asked me what I thought Groo was going to do to the minstrel in the first volume. I never would have guessed he was going to do “that” to him. I’d rather be hung, thankyou very much! However, as it provided incentive for the minstrel to be the voice of Groo, it turned out ok. For us the readers anyway.

I actually found the cover to be the most interesting part of this issue. It is hard to see in the little one provided, but Groo is sneaking up on the dragon’s tail with his sword drawn, probably thinking it is a big snake, while the dragon looks on with a rather annoyed expression. It really typifies Groo, hahahahaa. You know what, here’s a full size pix. Click to see it in a new tab.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Song of Groo (Groo the Wanderer #1) ★★★☆☆

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Title: The Song of Groo
Series: Groo the Wanderer #1
Author: Sergio Aragones
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 23
Words: 2K



Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

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:

Clickable for a high-res version.

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 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5.