Everyone is the hero of their own story. Evil rarely believes itself to be evil, because any action or attitude can be justified if you skew your point of view in the right way. And sometimes, something that begins as legitimately noble or righteous can become tainted over time, soured through cross-mingling with lesser impulses and human weaknesses. Matt Wagner’s Grendel is, among many other things, a pointed examination of this process of transforming a good person into a wicked one. The characters who star in this year of issues begin as normal and well-intentioned, but their inability to cope with external evils and personal loss changes them into delusional crazies just looking for an excuse to murder somebody. Within the comic, the Grendel persona is seen by the public as a menace, a seemingly unstoppable force of terror and chaos that can’t be explained or understood. For the reader, understanding Grendel is actually rather easy, but deciding whether or not to root for the people under the mask is more difficult.
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