Review: Grimjack #1

Grimjack #1 cover
Cover by Timothy Truman

Grimjack #1
Published and © by First, August 1984

Title: “A Shade of Truth!”
Synopsis: When the daughter of a Cynosure politician commits suicide, her mother hires Grimjack to find out why.

Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Timothy Truman

Review: This impressive debut would feel right at home in the pages of the legendary British comic magazine 2000 A.D. Writer John Ostrander packs a ton into this tightly plotted story, introducing John “Grimjack” Gaunt to new readers while telling a complete, done-in-one mystery. More importantly, he introduces several cool sci-fi concepts, including the multidimensional locale of Cynosure. On the art side, Timothy Truman’s work has a similar polish to Brian Bolland’s, again inviting comparisons to 2000 A.D. There’s a bit of awkward dialogue and a rough panel or two, but this is assured work from a fairly inexperienced creative team.

Grade: A-

Second opinion: “Artist Timothy Truman evokes mood with every stroke of his pen. … In general, it was an impressive premier issue.” – R.A. Jones, Amazing Heroes #48, June 1, 1984 … Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003. … “John Ostrander, solely by virtue of his performance on this comic, has leapt into the upper echelons of my comic-book-rating scale.” – Matt Denn, The Telegraph Wire #14, April-May 1984

Cool factor: Cynosure will almost certainly going to be the setting for some interesting stories moving forward.

Notable: Also contains part one of a text feature titled “Scapegoat in Four Colors,” a history of the regulation of comic books.

Character quotable: “Loneliness isn’t silly, Mrs. Grant. It’s an ache we’ve all got and none of us escape it for long.” – John “Grimjack” Gaunt, about to hook up
A word from the co-creator: “What I want to say is, that in this one man’s opinion, T. Truman has the most creative and fertile imagination loose in comics since Jack Kirby in his prime. I’m a jealous man when it comes to my own creations, but Grimjack is no longer just my creation. He is Tim’s as well.” – John Ostrander, talking about his Grimjack collaborator, Timothy Truman, in an introductory essay in this issue.

Editor’s note: This review was written March 5, 2022.

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