Welcome to a brand new edition of Parlay points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast stopping by way of the Nerd Initiative!
For this entry, we’re returning to the pages of the dead (so to speak) and seeing what kind of trouble comics’ favorite reaper has gotten into now via one of the big breakout hits of 2022! The series has been required reading since its’ debut and shows no signs of falling off. Grim #8 by Stephanie Phillips, Flaviano, Rico Renzi & Tom Napolitano for Boom! Studios takes readers on a wild ride with our lead character trying to figure out what has caused the latest danger she needs to face. Let’s take a deeper dive on the latest escapade, shall we?
Editor note: Some of the images here might be tough for younger readers so discretion is advised. Still all good? Ok, let’s check this book out!
Grim #8 by Stephanie Phillips, Flaviano, Rico Renzi & Tom Napolitano (Cover: Justine Florentino)
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***
After being banished from the afterlife by her aunt Adira, Jessica Harrow’s life as a reaper has become more complicated. From the initial moment where she crossed over into the land of the living chasing a runaway soul to learning her father is the being known as Death, Jessica’s (after)life has become complicated with reveal after reveal. After Death and The End, a being who makes sure life and death are balanced, destroy each other, there’s a big power vacuum in the afterlife.
Now stationed in Las Vegas, Jessica (along with fellow banished reapers/friends Eddie and Marcel), something strange is happening with people having a red marking appear on their foreheads and no one can die now, no matter how badly they are sick or hurt. Outside forces are plotting to make moves but it appears all signs point to Jessica being responsible. Oh yeah, Did we forget Lilah, her human mother in prison now knows?
This issue kicks off seeing Jessica’s mother in the middle of a prison riot. The inmates and guards have the mysterious red markings on them, but Lilah is fighting her way thru all while narrating a letter sent from Death before his demise. With a clue pointing to New Mexico, Lilah escapes and leaves a burning jail in her wake. Meanwhile in the afterlife, Adira is trying to calm the masses of reapers who see no dead souls. Adira gives them a name “responsible”: Jessica Harrow!
As for Jessica, she’s been confronted by the sisters of Fate, who explain the situation at hand to her. Jessica is not exactly on board with their information, but it appears there might be one way out of this and it means nothing good! What is the new situation presented to her? Is she willing to accept what has been proposed to her? Does she have a choice? Readers find out quick as the closing panel shows that more parties are interested in Jessica and her friends than they thought!
Phillips is starting to put some of the mystery pieces together while keeping readers guessing at what’s happening here. Taking a small break from the red markings epidemic other than the riot worked well. Seeing how Jessica’ mother is now involved adds a new dynamic to the current story. Phillips instantly makes her debut feel huge with having her fight thru a prison riot unscathed. The cutthroat actions of Adira are always a great counter to Jessica’s character. Seeing how she handles being made Afterlife enemy #1 will be fun to watch. The situation with the sisters of Fate is an intriguing one as it was one readers won’t see coming. Solid final page to close out on. Readers will be curious to see where that leads moving forward.
How cool is Flaviano’s art? Seriously. From the architecture of Adira’s throne room to the astral plane of the Sisters of Fate, Flaviano and Renzi gives this book such a different and energetic feel. There truly isn’t anything like it on the market in my opinion. The panel set up with the “dream” borders was a great touch. The only thing missing was the usual music lyrics factored in by Napolitano, but this issue had much to enjoy regardless of that.
FINAL POINT: Grim #8 delivers a very solid issue to move its’ second arc forward. Phillips, Flaviano and the team bring their winning mash-up of incredible writing and art to give readers an issue they can’t miss this week at the LCS. Make sure you have this in your pull list for NCBD.
Hit me up on ODPH social media and let me know what you thought of Grim #8. Thanks to the team at the Nerd Initiative for allowing the post & thank YOU for reading!