Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Grenadier Returns!

Of course he does. Can't keep a good man down. He's been doing this since Vimy Ridge, you know.

Late last month, Zenith Comics tossed an interest-finder on social media in regards to publishing a third issue of its Heroic series. The book first debuted in early 2014 (if my memory is sound) and the second issue was released in June 2015.

Evidently, Zenith was pleased with the feedback generated because not only are we getting a third issue but also a fourth, a fifth...Here's how Zenith broke down its future plans on Facebook this weekend.
So looks like HEROIC #3 will be 32 pages... 16 pages of HEROIC and two 8 page back-up stories that show other parts of the Zenith Universe. As soon as the specifics are settled, I'll announce who those writer/art teams will be! 
The plan is for these 8 pagers to be 4 parts (up to issue 6) and one will cover everyone's favourite Canknucklehead the GRENADIER!
The cover at right may not suggest much Canadian content and truth be told, there isn't (well, aside from writer Andrew Collard being from Montreal). The first issue begins with a funeral in Washington D.C. for a character named The Guardsman, the "premier hero of America", and a eulogy by his closest ally, Lady America. The second half of the book takes place at the other end of the country, Washington state. There isn't a drop of maple syrup to be found!

So what's this about the Grenadier?

During the project's early days, in October 2012, even prior to the Kickstarter campaign being launched, a design sketch (by Alex Williamson) was displayed for a character named The Canadian. The image was displayed again just after Canada Day in 2013 but this time the Grenadier name was applied to it.

The Grenadier appeared briefly in the second issue of Heroic as Lady America announces that the Guardians superhero team needs to disband. The Grenadier serves as a voice of reason during that scene and a supporting shoulder when Lady America find herself a little discouraged by recent events.

And that was the last we saw of him.

Yet for all that there is little material about him, he does seem to have his little cult following. I believe that the design struck a chord with Zenith's followers.

I also like to believe that the interest shown in the Grenadier on social media helped encourage Collas to increase the character's exposure. For all I know, the short story to come has been in the planning stages for years, but the wording copied from Facebook above makes it seem like a recently-hatched plan.

Regardless, the important takeaways are that Heroic is on the way back, and Grenadier is getting his beam of the spotlight. Follow Zenith Comics on Facebook to keep up to date with the project. You can also get digital copies of the first two issue on drivethrucomics.

And if you appreciate the character's look and want to support Zenith further, you can get Grenadier-based merchandise from Teepublic by following this link.