The tag line of Image Comics new series, Grim Leaper, is, “A love story to die for.” Needless to say that made me a little hesitant to open up to page 1, especially since the cover was slightly pink and features a dude with a black leather jacket and faux-hawk… But the “i” in “Grim” was dotted with a skull, not a heart, so I gave it a shot. Kurtis J. Wiebe offers something completely different from his normal bag of tricks, with some wild twists and turns throughout. “Grim Leaper” is a very different book, to say the least, and it’s shaping up to be quite the thrill ride.
WRITTEN BY: Kurtis J. Wiebe
ART BY: Aluiso Santos
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
Everyone remembers Chaz from Wedding Crashers? Will Ferrel’s character? Well the “Grim Leaper” starts off by paying homage to Chaz. The main character, who remains nameless for the time being, admits to going to thirteen funerals and attempting thirteen times to pick up women, but unfortunately for him, “It’s not like in the movies. They always say people want to feel alive when faced with their mortality. They meet a stranger and then f**k like rabbits. It’s bulls**t.”
Thankfully before I threw down the comic in disgust for being cliche and tasteless the narrator reveals that each funeral he has attended has been his own: he can’t die. This plot twist is immediately followed by proof of the fact the narrator can’t die, or let me rephrase: can die, does die, will die horribly, but each time comes back to life in a different body. This is really where the comic grabbed my attention. Firstly, there was a full page panel of a stray tire decapitating the narrator’s body #13 (maybe he will be luckier at funeral 14?), and secondly, he isn’t just plopped into another body. The narrator finds himself whirling through the cosmos to a hallway full of photographs. As he walks down this hallway towards the only exit with a single photograph hanging on it, he explains his “curse” of not being able to die, of “getting a second chance to… I dunno, do something.” As he says this the face on the photograph begins to morph into a giant monster and he is reborn while screaming, “F**king limboooo!” The beginning of the comic had me pretty concerned, but the cosmic death/rebirth scene was really well done, enough so that I will be reading the next issue.
The love part of the title happens at the end of the comic, where the narrator, whose name is Lou, meets a girl, Ella, who shares his curse. While he watches her narrowly avoid death, and saves her life once or twice, I began to think that this comic is based on the real life situation of two clumsy nerds falling in love and trying to bump uglies while all sorts of exaggerated shenanigans (like death) get in their way. Hopefully whatever the narrator is getting a second chance to do, won’t just be losing his virginity to his similarly cursed love interest after one of their funerals. While I cant decide if that would be hilarious or disturbing, I’m going to keep reading because I can’t see how a comic with this many graphic death scenes, and awesome cosmic death/rebirth via galactic monster scenes, could turn out to not have more awesome plot twists.
Reviewed by- TheSandMan