Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #6 continues to offer me everything I want, but also mixes their chaotic energy with a little bit of hope for some newness. A sprinkling of the idea that the world isn’t going to be as dark as the DC Universe… even in its darkest hour. The story tackles the concept that the average civilian needs to believe in someone or something to choose to fight for better circumstances. This idea comes out in a way that isn’t often addressed.
As always, Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted comes from the written words of Ben Kahn, the art of Bruno Hidalgo, the colors of James Penafiel, and the lettering of Sal Cipriano. There’s a nervous energy in the air as our crew attempts to give the Sovereign Reach’s enslaved people a desire to push back against their captors. Even if they find the right words to say, will the message be enough?
Shall We Fake News It Up In Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #6?
There’s a strong mixture of hilarity and seriousness in this issue. I didn’t think the combination would work with the idea of trying to manipulate people to help themselves. When someone works with propaganda, the writer has a hard time balancing between depicting people as being too stupid, too smart, or too apathetic. If you give too much hope, the narrative becomes saccharine. On the other hand, if you give too little hope, then the story becomes too dark. The tone can really mess up the work, but Gryffen keeps its charming, over-the-top nature, despite its tendencies to go for harder-hitting concepts.
I appreciate the willingness to show that Gryffen and squad aren’t saviors. They can give the enslaved populace the tools to free themselves, but the protagonists can’t do the rest. Ultimately, the revolt’s success relies on the populace to break apart from their confines. The victim has the potential to walk away as long as there’s desire. This portion of the story commits to showing people that it’s okay to commit to a concept even if it’s not ‘real’ as long as it’s not a crutch. I like this choice because it fits into the framework of the rest of the story.
These Action Sequences Have Me Roaring For Blood, Sorta…
The exaggeration in the bodies during battle creates a feeling of unrealness. It shows off a little of who Gryffen used to be before they decided to revolt against the Reach. There’s a sense that Gryffen doesn’t care about the lives of the soldiers. If the soldiers are in the way of their goal, they will kill without mercy. How the artist and the colorist create this effect is by bathing the panels in a pinkish light and obscuring the faces of the fallen soldiers. This moment creates a great juxtaposition for the scene right after where the battle quiets down.
When there’s silence, there’s a stillness to the art because it focuses down on how the characters emote. The faces go softer and there’s less exaggeration like in the battle. I like how the colors change to depict the multi-faceted nature of conversations as opposed to the single-minded nature of the battle sequence. These moments become impactful because there’s an actual message that pushes the narrative forward to its conclusion. The imagery in the background also seeks to capture this idea of slowing down.
The Impact Of Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #6
This issue is the strongest in terms of both writing and art. We see the entire crew and their contributions to the conflict at hand. By moving in this direction, there’s more in terms of figuring out what motivates these characters. This is why people put themselves on the line for their desired outcome. There’s less of a reliance on Gryffen to carry out the work, while also creating complexity for Gryffen’s leadership. They managed to bring everyone in line by having a powerful charisma. I continue to possess hesitations with the pacing of this arc.
If we’re looking at this singular piece, I find #6 to be the hardest hitting. I’m always hopeful when it comes to Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted because they do meet and exceed my expectations. Maybe my complaints are on me and my own impatience.
Gryffen: Galaxy's Most Wanted #5 by Ben Kahn, Bruno Hidalgo, James Penafiel, & Sal Cipriano.
We're going for the wind-down now, boys, and Gryffen doesn't disappoint.