In Grendel: Behold the Devil #8, the cover art gets mundane, Hunter Rose ignores that awesome devil following him, and Matt Wagner brings his latest Grendel story to a predictably bloody close.
Warning: Spoilers ahead. SPOILERS I SAY!!! Also, the violence in this issue is more garish than a Willem de Kooning painting, so steer clear if you’re not into amateur tracheotomies.
In this issue, Grendel finally catches up with reporter Lucas Ottoman and kills him (you were expecting maybe something different?). His girlfriend, detective Liz Sparks, arrives too late to save her beau, and is injured by an escaping Grendel. After this exchange, the story cuts to nine months later, where Hunter Rose’s (Grendel’s) assistant, Larry Stohler, plays catch-the-bullet-with-my-teeth as the police bang down his door.
Behold the Devil has had its ups and downs. After the decided up of last issue’s surprising character development and gorgeous art, this installment is a definite down. As conclusions go, it’s not very satisfying, with plenty of loose ends and histrionics. I’m willing to bet that reading other Grendel stories might tie up some of those loose ends, but I like my entertainment to be entertainment, and not homework. Where other issues of this series (#2, 3, and especially 7) were enjoyable and accessible, #8 is confusing and kind of dull, even if it did allow me to use the word “tracheotomies” in a comic book review.
Worth the money? Nope.