Jess Harrow was more or less content to be one Reaper out of many. But now that both Death and the End are gone, what part does she have to play in the Afterlife? Find out in Grim #8 from BOOM! Studios.
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 15, 2023
Previously in Grim: Death and the End had their confrontation, and both are now gone. This leaves a significant hole in the power structure of the Afterlife. Even more concerning, now that Death is gone, people no longer are dying. This does not stop them from being injured or from suffering – they simply do not die. Jessica Harrow believes this all has something to do with her, and she has no solution. Eddie and Marcel realize that this phenomenon is not only happening in Las Vegas. It is worldwide. The chaos continues until Jess suddenly finds herself face-to-face with the Fates.
AN UNWILLING ORPHEUS
Grim #8 opens in a women’s prison. A full-blown riot is happening, and despite horrifying injuries, no one is dying. One white-haired inmate, Lilah, appears more focused than the others. Rather than fighting and killing, she is focused on getting out, although she will land some punches on people who get in her way. The narration we see is a letter written to her from Death. He had promised not to contact her, but he does when he knows he will be gone. Jessica, he says, needs her mother.
In the Afterlife, Adira sits on a throne of skulls, Death’s scythe in her grip. All around her, the Reapers are concerned. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Why are people not dying? What are they supposed to do? Adira insists that everything is under control. She claims she is trying her best to keep everything going after all the damage caused by Jessica Harrow. She wishes there was a better option, but it seems the only solution is to send Jess to Hell.
Meanwhile, Jess is caught up in the web of the Fates. They need the Reaper. Jess says he is gone. As she fights her way loose, they indicate there is something she does not know. The Grim Reaper and the End may have destroyed one another, but life and death need someone to keep them on track. They declare that she is now the Grim Reaper, and this is her destiny. She fights against this, wondering why Death is some kind of outdated monarchy. Ignoring her, they state that she must go into Hell and retrieve the End.
There are eight gates to Hell, all of them on Earth, and Hell is not governed by a single individual. And somewhere, the End is there. Jess desperately argues against them, but the only choice she has in the matter is which door she wants to pick first.
In the world gone mad of Grim #8, we are introduced to Jess’s mother, Lilah. Who is the woman Death fell in love with? We mainly see her focus, determination, and fierceness. She does have hair so blonde it looks white, which is a striking choice. But the thing I like is that her prison jumpsuit, even though it is likely orange, looks red in the dim light of the interior and later in the light of the fire she leaves behind. She wears bangs, so we cannot see if her forehead is marked. Is she a resourceful mortal, or something more?
Adira is the perfect villainess we love to hate. There is no denying she has a grand sense of style. Sitting in the throne of skulls with Death’s scythe resting casually across her lap makes a statement. But we also see her playing this scene for all it is worth. We know she set things into motion, but to deflect any blame from herself, she tearfully admits that just maybe Jess is responsible. She makes it appear that having to hunt down her niece is a tragedy, although it is not enough of a tragedy to stop her from doing it.
BOTTOM LINE: AND THROUGH THE DOOR
Grim #8 takes a Jess who was once so desperate to know more about herself and thrusts her into a situation that keeps getting worse. At least she still has a couple of friends, right?
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Jess wanted to know more about where she came from; now she wishes she did not know.