Grimjack Omnibus Volume One

This is a review of Grimjack Omnibus Vol. 1. Grimjack is the street name of John Gaunt, a mercenary who lives in Cynosure, a city which is also an interdimensional nexus. Gaunt and Cynosure were meant for each other, in that they are both totally screwed up.

Cynosure is a weird place, where the laws of nature change when you cross the street. Gods become mortal, and mortals gods, depending on what neighborhood you’re in. The area Gaunt lives in is dingy, gritty and dangerous, like Times Square in the 1980’s.

Grimack hangs out at a bar called Munden’s with Bob the Watch Lizard, a semi-sentient reptile that spends most of its time drunk. We also meet other members of Grimjack’s supporting cast – Roscoe, a cop who is Gaunt’s former partner; BlackJacMac, a fellow merc who is Gaunt’s best friend; Jericho Noleski, a biker cop who hangs out in the boonies; and Spook, so named because she’s a ghost who wandered into Cynosure and become corporeal.

Grimjack is almost fifty. He’s lost a step, which is bad news for a merc/gun-for-hire/head-breaker. If this volume is any indicator, Gaunt spends most of his time getting knocked down, beaten up, shot, stabbed, and bludgeoned. He’s a tough guy, so he always gets back up, but the writing on the wall becomes clearer as the issues progress. The final issue of this volume features a younger, meaner merc beating the crap out of Gaunt. He manages to rebound and even restore his rep, but at this point it’s only a matter of time.            

Grimjack was co-created by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman. Truman’s art is wonderful, and John Ostrander, who reimagined The Suicide Squad in the 1980’s, is in the running for my favorite writer of all-time.

A must-read, especially if your tastes are anything like mine.