When Boom! Studios revealed the first details of Grim #1, I was instantly intrigued. I’m always drawn to different interpretations of a grim reaper, and attaching the below cast to it made it a no brainer:
Stephanie Phillips (Writer)
Rico Renzi (Colorist)
Tom Napolitano (Letterer)
Grim #1 begins the tale of someone’s untimely demise accompanied with ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. Surely a well known trope, but one that is presented with such precision in just the first few pages. The wavy lyrics almost force you to hum along as Bryan learns of his eventual fate. Getting that first look at Jessica Harrow (our grim reaper) is the perfect record-scratch to kick-off its story.
While this seems like a typical story of a reaper ferrying souls to their eventual afterlife, Grim has something far more interesting to say. In the first issue you learn that Jessica has no recollection of her death. What puts this at odds is the souls she is ferrying across the river Styx do. Without spoiling things too much, the way Phillips humanizes Jessica without ruining all the intrigue is a masterclass in character building.
One consistent theme across each and every page is just how aggressive the colors of each panel are. There is a clear contrast of reds and blues that just works so well in juxtaposing earth and the transition to the afterlife. It’s one of those comics that if someone showed you a frame or two you could be like, “Yep. That’s Grim.”
Grim #1 is such a perfect look at how all comic design aspects (writing, art, color and lettering) pull together to elevate one another. The sum of its parts are what makes Boom! Studios’ Grim a can’t miss comic pull.