Script: Ben Kahn
Art & Colors: Bruno Hidalgo
Color Assistance: James Peñafiel
Lettering: Sal Cipriano
Design: Jimmy Presler
Production: Conley Presler
Editor: Brendan Wright
Gryffen was created by BEN KAHN and BRUNO HIDALGO.
Gryffen is written by Ben Kahn, and features art and coloring by Bruno Hidalgo and James Peñafiel, and stars Captain Lyla Gryffen, a decorated veteran who has dedicated their life to the Sovereign Reach.
Captain Lyla Gryffen—a renowned hero of countless missions across the dozens of worlds that humanity inhabits—went missing at the edge of the galaxy six months ago. Now, they have returned, and they have some alarming new perspectives that have shaken their worldview and prompted them towards drastic action. And Gryffen isn’t shy about their new opinions, and how they plan to tear down the fascist regime they once served.
Space operas are my jam, and if they are your jam too, then you’re gonna fricken’ love Gryffen.
First things first, this comic is funny. I was cackling the whole way through. The dialogue, in particular, is witty and sharp, and I know some people get tired of “too much snark” but I don’t actually know what “too much snark” is, so I thought it was excellent.
We open on Gryffen, a genderqueer space captain turned renegade, who is on trial as a traitor following their six-month disappearance. They come across as a bit unhinged—unsurprising after going missing for a significant amount of time under mysterious circumstances—but not in a deranged way; their outlandish behavior seems to be both a facet of their larger-than-life personality and a result of them now knowing and understanding things that the people around them don’t.
Gryffen has great revelations to share and makes incredibly insightful comments around how revolutions are won and what has to happen to move a society forward, and out of the oppression of the current leaders. It’s got a philosophical flair that I love and genuine commentary on culture and human behavior that adds an extra flair to the excitement of this space opera.
I must be honest, while the story was gripping and fun, the art style was not my cup of tea. This isn’t to say that it’s bad art, but it certainly has a style that is more unique—some will love it, some won’t, it’s up to the individual. For me, it didn’t strike the right chord, but it also isn’t a deal breaker on continuing to read this story. The coloring was exceptional, though, adding to the out-of-this-world look and feel of the story. And while the overall style wasn’t my favorite, there were some excellent and dynamic panels that make it a fun read.
The story is compelling and raises so many questions that I’m itching to get the answers to—what happened to Gryffen? What is this new mission they’re on? How do they plan to improve the lives of those in the galaxy? Gryffen obviously has a very clear and important mission that they’re on, but the details of this are still a mystery; one I’m eager to unravel.
If nothing else, I’m going to need everyone else to immediately start reading this so I can quote it and we can laugh about the great lines. I need to be able to say, “Yes! I knew I could murder people with gravity!” and have people understand.
In short, my review can be summed up as such: I signed on to review this comic and found a story I will definitely be keeping up with. A stellar addition to the comic landscape that I am excited to follow—absolutely something I recommend checking out!