Having missed the first issue of the series, I’ve now caught up with Grendel Kentucky’s four issue run thanks to the collected edition that’s just been released.

The story sees Marnie – head of an all-female biker gang – and her brother Denny returning to the eponymous town after their Dad’s murder. Something about his death doesn’t add up – and when the truth comes out, all hell breaks loose.

I went into the series completely blind; what starts as a dark, realistic murder mystery soon becomes something far different, but – even though the blurb on the book reveals at least one major secret and gives away a big piece of exposition that the story holds back until near the end – I’m loathe to spoil it, because the twists that the tale takes are really satisfying if you’re in the dark about where it’s headed.

Needless to say, the comic takes you to some seriously gore-soaked, thrillingly choreographed places, with fantastically well illustrated, dynamic action scenes – by the ever-reliable Tommy Lee Edwards – that give the comic a real momentum as it heads towards the bloody climax. Jeff McComsey tells a weird tale well, with believable characters and a neat sense of symmetry in the final scenes.

Though the beginning made me think I was in for a Sons of Anarchy-style motorcycle club saga, I’m glad the story took a leftfield turn – because it became seriously unpredictable very, very quickly once it strayed from the path it was seemingly on. It’s another unmissable series from AWA/Upshot – they really are one of the most reliably consistent publishers out there right now, despite how new they are to the comics scene.

AWA Studios provided me with a copy of Grendel Kentucky Vol. 1 for review purposes.

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