Matt Wagner created the villain comic book headliner Hunter Rose, also known as Grendel. He was the premier villain of Comico and is now featured in Dark Horse Comics.
In 1993 and 1996, DC Comics published the two-part Elseworld story that pits Grendel against the Dark Knight. The graphic novel is written and drawn by Wagner.
Part 1: Grendel is bored with New York City life and travels to Gotham City expecting to find a decent challenge in Batman for his criminal activities. To his surprise, Batman proves to be a very different challenge than the usual do-gooders that chase Grendel. The story assumes they’re contemporaries and is an excellent story written and drawn by Wagner.
Part 2 is a story taking place four years later featured Batman battling the robotic Grendel Prime in Devil’s Bones and Devil’s Dance. Grendel Prime time-travels to a new museum opening featuring in Gotham City that has Hunter Rose’s skull. Batman is stunned by the power of the futuristic robot and finds that it is on a relentless request to return to the future, but the time machine will kill thousands if activated. Only Batman can stop him.
Both stories are compelling, but my favorite is part 1. It is told more like a crime drama where as part 2 has science fiction feel to it. Not bad, but the former definitely kept my attention more. Wagner does a great job portraying Batman and it feels like he’s been doing it his whole life. I was unfamiliar with Grendel, but happy to see him as a formidable foe of the Dark Knight.
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