The genius of Gollum

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, and on iNetRadio, (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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6 Responses

  1. Russ Rogers says:

    The Miller Medallion … hmmm. I know I've seen that before. Now I'm going to have to comb through my back pages (my memory and Grim Jack back issues) to see where Grim Jack has used the Miller Medallion before and see if I can figure out where he got it and what it does.If I have a complaint about this Grim Jack story, it's that SO many cool concepts are introduced and then rushed over. We introduce the "Battle Cherubs" and then in the fight, a few of them get lopped up, but they just seem glossed over. Then there is a sleeping army at the doorstep to the portal of chaos. Some of them wake up. I'm not sure what woke them. Some of them jump into a fight and I'm not sure who is fighting who or why. And then ZIP the sleeping army is gone. How many panels did the sleeping army get? Are the sleeping army somehow related to the monks that sent John Gaunts spirit back on it' journey into St. John of Knives? One group always sleeps the other is always awake. So many unanswered questions!Now, we have an army of Grim Jacks! Cool! These are all the Grim Jacks in the long line of reincarnations, plus all the alternate time line and alternate reality Grim Jacks that are, were, might been and never could be but are. They show up, for no reason other than John Gaunt held up some artifact at some nexus of chaos. They swarm Mannachs and before two pages have passed, Gaunt is saying, "Thanks for the help, Gang. We'll take it from here. Get back to where you belong and forget what you saw." And they are GONE!Now, two pages earlier, Gaunt didn't know what would happen with the Miller Medallion. It was a shot in the dark. He says, "Even I wasn't ready for what I saw."So, how did Gaunt send away the Army of Jacks and Johns? How does John Gaunt know how to dismiss his fighting force, especially if he didn't know what he was doing when he called them? Grim Jack is a curious, disagreeable and self-destructive fellow. Why would an army of Grim Jacks immediately just start swarming like mindless ants? And why would an Army of Grim Jacks just agree to walk off and vanish back into their realities? Wouldn't one of the Grim Jacks say, "I don't take orders from you, schmuck"? Wouldn't even one of the Army of Jacks and Johns say, "What the hell is going on here?" Wouldn't several of them want to stick around for a while, just out of morbid curiosity? "Forget what you saw." Nothing would make Grim Jack LESS likely to forget than somebody telling him that he should. He's that contrary.Maybe I'm whining because the idea of an Army of Grim Jacks is pretty cool. I wish I could have gotten a better look at more of them. I wish the battle with Mannachs had been longer and more nuanced than just, "Get 'Er, Boys!" That's like the football play, "OK, EVERYBODY go out for a pass!" This fight could have had a lot more detail.Wouldn't it have been cool if in the Army of Grim Jacks we could have spotted some other characters that we already know! Vanth Dreadstar! Horatio Hellpop! Jon Sable! Felix the Cat! Wouldn't that have been mind blowing … and a licensing nightmare!Two things I didn't see in the army of Grim Jacks. First, I couldn't spot James Twilley. Second, I didn't see any female Grim Jacks. Is Grim Jack always just a dude? Is he always human? You seem to imply in this story that St. John of Knives is gay. So Grim Jack's sexual preference isn't a constant through his multiple incarnations. Why should Grim Jack's gender stay constant? What are the constants of Grim Jack? Human. The scar. Violence. Rage over a deep sense of loss and despair. Is Mundens a lynch pin in Grim Jack's many lives? Where is St. John of Knives' Munden's? Could St. John's Abbey be built on the site where Mundens will stand?I'm enjoying this story. It's great to be reading Grim Jack again. It just feels like John Ostrander and Tim Truman have a TON of cool ideas stored up and they want to get to ALL of them in this story.

    • John Ostrander says:

      A lot of elements are just what we call "toss-aways". That's always been the case in GJ. We toss out cool ideas that others would do whole books on and then we move on real quick because, frankly, we have a lot of story to tell.The Miller Medallion HAS appeared before, gping WAAAY back to the very earliest GJ stories. GJ may not have known exactly what would happen when he poured his soul into it but, since he was technically the one who summoned the other GJs, he could send them away. And the "forget what you saw" was not a suggestion — it's part of the mystic command and it's done so that, if they are not aware of other lives, they won't become so. Better that way for them.There MIGHT have been some females in that group. I also sometimes call a group of males and females "guys".Twilley isn't there because it's those lives BETWEEN St. John of Knives and John of Gaunt that got summoned. Twilley came after. Throwing in other folks like Horatio Hellpop might have been fun but makes him a part of the GJ mythos and the Red baron might object. Not something i want to do. He has guns.The sequence isn't over yet and you might learn a few more things before it is. Don't mean to frustrate you but this is how we tell stories around here.– John

      • Russ Rogers says:

        Thanks for the near instantaneous answers, John! Yeah, there have always been lots of cool "toss-aways" is GJ, but this story seems to have more than most. Twilley's been bopping around in time. Who's to say who precedes whom? (I guess YOU are the guy to say.) Horatio Hellpop was just a non-sequitor, although he does carry a similar sense of doom around with him. (Felix the Cat was the REAL non-sequitor there!) Maybe Nick Fury or Jonah Hex would make more sense as alternate GJ incarnations. Hex is disfigured and done a bit of time/dimension jumping!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The entire story is great you don't have to change a thing.

  3. Troy Lissoway says:

    So, does this mean that John had an idea of his doom before meeting FutureJack? I could see him not being too sure, and thinking that going to Heaven had broken the cycle.And I concur that GJ has ALWAYS been full of throw-aways that in any other series would be major plot points. It's just a reminder of how wild and wooly life is in a pan-dimensional vortex :)

  4. Alan Coil says:

    GrimJack is one word._____I laughed when, confronted with "Death and sorrow throughout your lives!", John says "So what?". So much the essence of John.