Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #4: The Escalation Commences

Pals, we’re back here again with Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #4 as they encounter freedom fighters. This story comes written by Ben Kahn, drawn by Bruno Hidalgo, colored by James Penafiel, and lettered by Sal Cipriano. The resistance refuses to help Private Telika’s planet because they’ll be unable to obtain supplies. As a result, Gryffen counters back with a plan to play God.

Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted: SBI Press

Who will win out in this encounter, or a better question, what will come next out of the mouth of our good Captain?

Too Bad You Can’t Montage A Recap When You’re Writing

Gryffen succeeds and suffers in the same places I’ve spoken before in other reviews. The dialogue is fun in that it’s quick to bring out a laugh and it doesn’t go for crude jokes. All of Gryffen’s choices tend to veer into the unexpected, yet logical, for the rules of the story. They’re established as someone who will go for unorthodox methods if this chance means saving someone fairly innocent. Strongest of all, the pacing doesn’t drag along. I would never call this a slow-burn and this choice becomes good for its genre. The sci-fi tale has become renowned because of its quick investment.

I’m starting to realize Gryffen follows the same beats as most stories do in the genre. The narrative does those moments with a unique flair. I consider it unique because while you can compare Gryffen to other stories, it never quite matches with absolute certainty. You’d have to mash a couple of high-profile names together to cover it all. Even then, you won’t fit all the cracks.

Gryffen: Galaxy's Most Wanted #4
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted: SBI Press

Since we’ve talked about the resistance, I’m sorry to say they’re a non-factor as of this chapter. My issue with that as a narrative choice is you have to genuinely love Gryffen as they become the selling point of the entire series. Personally, I do, and their name is in the title so that’s what you come to expect, but the degree is a little surprising to me. Usually, there’s another character I can latch onto if the protagonist doesn’t interest me. This is a double-edged sword and can cause good or cause problems depending on the reader’s interests.

There Are So Many Solid Colored Backgrounds? It’s Not A Metaphor

The art remains strong with its stylized character designs and its bold coloring. If anything, you’re never going to visually mistake a character for another character. I keep giving that compliment because it deserves it. As more background characters pop-up, I enjoy looking at them. For example, the side-profile and front-profile of the narwhal-shark-octopus creature shifts from cute to terrifying. Those little details amuse me since it slows a fast reader like me down to enjoy more than the words.

Gryffen: Galaxy's Most Wanted #4
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted: SBI Press

It’s surprising to me that I noticed how this issue has a lot of solid-colored backgrounds or backgrounds that act as placeholders. One of my biggest praises for this art is its consistency across issues. While I did find the background to be typical in previous issues, the art didn’t seem as repetitious as it did. This deviation becomes noticeable to someone who’s looking. I can’t even blame this detail as part of an action sequence because the scene was conversational.

Where Are We Now With Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted?

Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #4 is a little shakier than its predecessors, but it’s not a drastic change in quality. I’ve stated, at this point, that you’re going to know by #3 if you’re in love with this series, and I don’t believe this one will change your mind. As an issue, what #4 does is we obtain our chance at direct confrontation.

We may get to see how Gryffen’s past and present collide as we know they have deeper ties to the Sovereign Reach than they’re willing to tell. In a previous issue, the writer established they had a potential lover they left behind after becoming disillusioned. It brings out an opportunity for subtlety. I continue to keep guessing where this narrative will branch off into in its next installment.

Traitors to the Common Good
We're going to see the guns come out in what may be a Mexican standoff that will show how the story brings itself to a cool or not so cool conclusion.
PROS
Quick Pacing
Gryffen Is The Star Of This Show
Character Artwork Remains Sharp
CONS
Backgrounds Aren't As Detailed
Minor Characters Still Need More Development
Less Nuanced Antagonists
88
Running

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