Groo is a moronic barbarian who doesn’t know his own strength and is easily duped. Conan is a smart barbarian who knows his own strength and is clever enough to outsmart any bad guy. Now pit them against each other and you’ll probably have your money on Conan kicking Groo’s ass, but then, maybe you’d be wrong? Is it good?
Groo vs. Conan #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
A key element of this series that needs to be understood is that writer and artist Sergio Aragonés of Mad Magazine fame is a character in this series. It’s one of those meta stories where the story is actually the imaginings of the character. Sergio bangs his head after being asked to create a Groo vs. Conan comic, mistakenly thinks he is Conan and we’re privy to the story because we get inside his thoughts. It’s a fun little concept, but you should note there’s a lot of story focused on Sergio.
Humor doesn’t do it for me.
Which is my major problem with this issue. The concept was cute when introduced last issue, but the humor of Sergio running around in a hospital gown, hanging out with homeless people and all the silliness that sprouts from it just isn’t that funny. This storyline takes up eight pages of the 24, and I couldn’t read these pages fast enough. The saving grace of course are the Conan and Groo parts, which are fun and silly. Groo’s dog brings a lot of the pompous humor into focus which is always great too.
Considering Groo’s schtick is his pompous and overblown ego it’s neat to see Conan, equally pompous, in the same scene and yet we root for him. I guess it’s a matter of backing up claims. It’s possible this point is the very reason this comic exists at all and it’s fun to see the two highly different, yet similar characters share the same space.
That’s pretty funny.
The art is rather great, and the combo of Sergio’s work on the Groo characters mixed with Thomas Yeates’s Conan is inspired stuff. Conan looks super real, as if he’s been plopped in a cartoon in comparison to Sergio’s style. It makes Conan pop and it’s immediately obvious something is off here. To say there isn’t anything like this is an understatement. Of course, anything by Sergio is unique. He might be the only cartoonist who does his work in comic book form. Most Americans must see his work and think, “why isn’t this in a newspaper?”
Oh Conan, open your eyes!
Is It Good?
17 out of 25 pages are good reading, which isn’t that bad, and maybe you’ll enjoy the Sergio parts more than me, so there’s a chance you’ll love the heck out of this book. For me though, if it would only stick to the Conan vs. Groo bits it could be a home run.
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