Publisher: Boom Studios
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Flaviano & Rico Renzi
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Getting to read takes on death and the afterlife is always a delight. With how easy it is to imagine what the afterlife is like, it’s fun to see various interpretations of it. Grim #1 is a new series that gives readers a look at death and the afterlife courtesy of Stephanie Phillips, Flaviano, and Rico Renzi, and Tom Napolitano.
In Grim, readers are introduced to a man who has just died and Jessica Harrow, the Reaper assigned to escorting him to the afterlife. While there is little action in the first half of this issue, the entire creative team does a stellar job of establishing a few rules of death and reapers, making this an engaging read. Phillips’ has an interesting protagonist in Jessica, who can’t seem to remember how she died. She is shrouded in mystery and that mystery is more-or-less promised to be solved by the set-up in the second half.
The transition from the living world to the afterlife is fascinating, especially because of Flaviano and Rico Renzi’s work. Flaviano’s style is dreamy, and this is further emphasized by Renzi’s cool colors throughout the issue. Flaviano’s facial expressions are superb, especially when characters are reacting to shocking news (Like their own death). The character’s expressions and gestures go a long way towards making Phillips’ script come to life.
The environments are all nothing short of incredible thanks to Renzi’s colors. Whether it’s something surreal during the transition to the afterlife or an otherwise unremarkable street, everything is full of energy. Harsh reds add the feeling of danger to some panels, allowing the reader to empathize with the passing soul during his journey. Some excellent lettering by Napolitano adds flavor to certain conversations and sounds to song playing in the background of the panels.
Even without the promise of an intriguing mystery, Grim #1 would be an entertaining read. The experience from the land of the living to the afterlife is worth the price of admission alone. Gorgeous art paired with the neat twist at the end is plenty of reason to get on board with the series.
The entire creative team is at their best in Grim #1.This journey from the land of the living is a must-read.