Saturday, October 4, 2008

Groo The Wanderer # 67: Dragon Quest

Writers: Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragaones
Colorist: Tom Luth
Letterer: Stan Sakai
Publisher: Marvel
Published: July 1990

Groo, the wandering parody of Conan, is one of Aragones' most enduring characters. He's the brute without the brain accompanied by his loyal companion, the dog Rufferto. The two have embarked on many issues of mayhem, often ending with disastrous results.

Dragon Quest involves Groo rescuing a town by defeating a marauding dragon. Little does Groo know that the dragon is actually a town attraction, trained to put on a yearly show to generate tourism revenue. Groo, fueled by guilt, begins to formulate a plan to undo the damage he's caused, and strikes upon the idea to obtain a new dragon for the town. Unfortunately, they're aren't any grown dragons trained to put on a show. However, after visiting a dragon farm, Groo is able to earn ownership of a young dragon, which he then takes to Arba and Dakarba (reoccurring witches in the series). Groos plan is to have them magic the dragon to full size, but ever the fool, Groo is unaware of their darker scheme. The two witches comply with Groo's request, and Groo returns to the town with the now full size dragon.

Upon arriving to the town with a new dragon Groo is greeted with shouts of joy. As the show starts, the witches plan begins to unfold. Turns out Groo's dragon is not the menace the town had hoped for, but is now by sorcery, a bona fide triple threat. Observe:...hardy har can be guessed, the town spectators are not too pleased and start to destroy the town.

What makes this issue stand out in my mind is Aragones ability to create endlessly unique characters, especially when spread over 2 pages. His attention to detail is outstanding. Plus he has a unique sense of humor.

Sidenote: I own only one issue of Groo by Sergio Aragones, and by strange coincidence one of the panels referenced by wikipedia to describe Groo is straight from this same issue I own. Weird.

No comments: