Marcel is gone, and Jess and her friends are unceremoniously booted back to Las Vegas. What will it take for Jess to face her own fears about her destiny? Find out in Grim #10 from BOOM! Studios.
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Eric Harburn
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 26, 2023
Previously in Grim: Lilah goes to a gravesite and digs up a red and black amulet. In Vegas, Marcel and Eddie look for Jess who vanished. Annabel appears and confronts them, demanding to know if Jess really destroyed Death. She tells them about Adira’s plan to trap Jess in Hell, and that they are near another gateway. Marcel figures out how to open it. There they find Kelly, the guardian of the gate, along with his tiger. Jess also arrives. Kelly tells them Marcel’s story, culminating in helping his lover to die in Paris. Kelly insists that Marcel belongs in Hell, but Jess disagrees. Lilah goes to a bar and Harold starts talking to her and comments on her necklace – the amulet. She shuts him down, but he mentions her name and speaks of children. He also leaves her a card before he disappears.
BACK TO SQUARE ONE
Grim #10 opens in Hell just after Marcel throws himself into the void. Eddie rushes Kelly, but the tiger bars the way. Annabel goes to help Eddie and Kelly throws the lot of them back into Vegas, where it is now raining.
Eddie wants to rush back into Hell to get Marcel out and he demands that Jess do something. The trouble is that she does not know what to do or how to do it. Before Eddie’s temper flies completely out of hand, Annabel sends him to look for another door while she has a chat with Jess. I think their little chat is worth the price of admission for this issue. Jess admits that the Fates told her she should oversee death, but she cannot do this because she does not know how. This is something we all must confront whether we realize it or not. We are not born knowing everything; learning is part of life. Annabel did not choose her job as records keeper, but she made it her own. By doing so, she may know more about the Afterlife than anyone else.
Jess calms down and realizes she needs her scythe. Unfortunately, Adira has it. Annabel offers to help her. Jess confesses that she is scared. Annabel basically tells her that it takes strength to realize that you are afraid, and work with and despite that fear.
Lilah meets Harold at a plane on the tarmac. She has the amulet. Harold ushers her aboard where she meets a blond man in a tan plaid suit. He has odd eyes, and she immediately recognizes that he is not human. He introduces himself as Life. I was not expecting this little twist. He is feeling that people do not respect life as much as they used to, and think it only matters in the context of death. He is the one who wants Lilah’s amulet.
The resourceful Annabel hands Jess a scythe and leads them to a secret back door to the Afterlife. Jess and Eddie jump through and find themselves in an antique office, the old call center, before Adira started updating things.
FACING SELF DOUBT
Jess has had imposter syndrome for some time, and in Grim #10 we see it come out in full force. I like the symbolism of her returning to Vegas in the rain. It is the echo to her despair, and there is nothing like being soaked to make one look even more hopeless. Annabel, who so frequently looks cheerful, confronts her not with optimism, but with realism. One of Jess’ problems may be her own expectations. Many of the panels in this sequence show both women in balance, a remarkably static composition considering the typical movement we see, but in a way, Jess is at a fulcrum point in her life and we are waiting to see which way it tips.
I love that the secret back door to the Afterlife is located in the Neon Boneyard. This is a place where old neon signs have gone to die. It is innately surreal and a perfect setting for hiding such a gateway. One of the pieces there is a giant skull. Naturally, this is the door. Death and symbolism go hand in hand, and even old symbols can have modern counterparts. To have the doorway in the broken sign lead to defunct office space in the Afterlife is a delight.
BOTTOM LINE: THE TURNING POINT
Grim #10 brings Jess to her latest low, but from there she starts to see a way to rise and to find the new meaning to her life. She still has no idea of just how many pending complications are waiting in the weeds for her next action.
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