GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #11

“The Minstrel”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

The Minstrel is singing as he usually does when he is arrested by the king’s men. In this kingdom it is a crime to sing or play music. The Minstrel gets off with a warning and wanders depressed that he can no longer sing. He makes his way just outside the kingdom and finds fellow musicians. They are depressed they can no longer play in their own land. The Minstrel has a plan when he hears Groo is in the kingdom. They get him and teach him to play the drums. So Groo goes around and bangs on the drum which brings the king’s soldiers who get immediately wiped out in a fray.

The king struggles to find a way to save face and his prime minister suggests that he take his army on a crusade. Thus when he leaves with his army the people can once again play music and have a great celebration. The king hears about this but can’t do anything while Groo is around. His prime minister takes care of it by inviting Groo and Rufferto to a sumptuous feast. Then the king arrives and arrests the musicians and the Minstrel is scheduled to be executed. This is sad since Kayli has finally found her father and it is the Minstrel. Now she needs Groo but finds that Groo has just died.

Oh no Groo is dead. Now how will Kayli rescue her father. Well this was a great cliffhanger ending. You don’t get those too often in Groo. So the Minstrel is Kayli’s father. The Minstrel is a guy who goes around and sings in rhyme all the time. He usually sings about the misadventures of Groo to crowds. He has been introducing the stories in this series. An enjoyable character. Now it has not put me in too much suspense that Groo will survive. He has another series after Friends and Foes so I am confident he will live. What is a mystery is how he survives and how will Kayli reunite with her father. The big conclusion next issue.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #10

“Taranto”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

A horde of villagers are fleeing. First one way than the other. They are fleeing their village which is being looted by Taranto and his horde. Then they come upon Groo and flee from him. One enterprising villager comes up with a plan to use Groo to drive Taranto from their village. The villagers act friendly and after much cajoling convince Groo to attack Taranto.

So Groo charges into the village and Taranto puts on his phony friend act and gets Groo a feast. Groo is about to ask for wine but Taranto thinks that Groo has figured out his scheme and flees with his horde. So Taranto is planning his next move when they come upon Kayli. Now Taranto has heard the story she is supposed to be rich and looking for her father. He tries to impersonate her father but Kayli is too smart. Kayli eventually gets rescued by the parents of her little dragon friend. Groo eventually wakes up from his nap and thinks that he defeated Taranto. Kayli thanks Groo and continues on her way.

Taranto is a general of a brigand horde. He is always pretending to be Groo’s friend then trying to kill him. Of course his dealings with Groo always end in disaster and this meeting was no different. Kayli is a pretty good judge of character and very smart. I am looking forward to meeting her father.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #9

“Pal ‘n’ Drumm”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Pal is using Drumm in the arena to make some money when he hears about the little girl that Groo is helping. The little girl with a huge inheritance. So they go off in search of this girl. Meanwhile Groo comes along and enlists as a fighter in the arena. Unfortunately all the other fighters quit and take off. This angers the crowd who wanted a fight so they tear up the arena.

Kayli at this moment is kidnapped by an unscrupulous man who sells orphans to the orphanage. Later while bragging about it he mentions that the girl was saying that Groo was helping her find her father. Everyone else has read Weaver’s story and go off to the orphanage. Kayli convinces the other orphans to lie and admit that Groo has been helping them so they will get adopted. It works for everyone except one really bratty girl. Even a large inheritance can’t sway them into adopting her.

Pal and Drumm find out about the girl in the orphanage and Pal comes up with a plan. He dresses up Drumm as a woman and the two pose as a couple. They end up adopting the bratty girl and Pal at the end realizes he has done something more stupid than Groo. Kayli now free of the orphanage comes upon Groo and thanks him for his help but that she would rather find her father on her own.

Pal and Drumm is a play on the word palindrome. These two are a pair of con artists. Pal is the brains and Drumm the muscle. Drumm in fact may just be as dumb as Groo if that’s possible. They usually try to make friends with Groo to use him in one of their schemes and then try to kill him. Once again they screw up. Interesting that Groo once again doesn’t cause any destruction directly but his presence manages to cause it anyway.

Kayli is now becoming a big part of the stories. She is also showing herself to be very smart and resourceful. She has learned from the characters she has met throughout this adventure. Really am enjoying this series.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #8

“Weaver & Scribe”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Weaver is getting chewed out by his publisher. His stories are boring. So the publisher suggests that he write about Groo. The public loves all that death and destruction. So with his faithful secretary Scribe they head out to find Groo. They come upon a mill being burned to the ground. Weaver decides to lie and make up a story that Groo started the fire. Workers overhearing him confirm that is what happened. So his lie is actually the truth.

Well he eventually meets up with Groo and accompanies him. Only instead of Groo destroying anything the people he comes upon decide to destroy their things themselves hoping Groo will go away and leave them alone. So one night Groo tells of the little boy he is helping to find his father. Weaver likes this and changes it to a little girl. Oh and the girl has a large inheritance who she wants to share with her father.

So it comes as a surprise when they meet up with Kayli. Groo of course got it wrong about the boy. So Weaver’s lie gets it right again. Except for the wealth inheritance. Hordes of men have descended on the publishing office claiming to by Kayli’s father. Kayli, Weaver and Scribe are forced to flee the village.

Weaver is a reporter who has no problem with making up sensational stories to further his career. Always travels with his secretary Scribe who writes his words down. They look suspiciously like real life writer Mark Evanier and letterer Stan Sakai. This is denied by Mark as just a coincidence. Anyway another meeting of the characters in the Groo universe. This time Groo is once again not responsible for the disaster at the end. This seems to be a pattern for this mini-series.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #7

“Chakaal”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Groo’s wandering takes him and Rufferto into a new land. This land has many difference people that speak different languages. This land is four kingdoms that have been united into one. Queen Nada was the one who forcibly united these kingdoms but her tyranny lead to her being deposed. The new queen rules wisely but Nada still schemes to reclaim her throne.

So she manages to recruit Groo into her army. This army attacks the castle of the new queen. Groo of course cuts through the opposing army and makes it into the throne room. There he finds out that the queen is none other than Chakaal the woman he is madly in love with. Well Groo the smitten fool switches sides and Nada is quickly defeated. Chakaal then pledges to hold elections so the people can choose their leader. Now all she has to do is somehow get Groo out of town.

Chakaal is a fierce warrior woman. She is also the woman that Groo is madly in love with. Chakaal is repulsed by Groo’s infatuation but respects him for his fighting skills. She always manages to use Groo to her own ends and is probably the only person in the world to do it successfully. In this instance she manages to neutralize Nada for good and transform the kingdom into a democracy. Groo once again strikes out much to the relief of Rufferto who is usually embarrassed by how Groo acts when he meets Chakaal.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #6

“The Sage”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

The Sage who is the most intelligent man in the world has come to a village. The village depends on a bridge but the king charges exorbitant tolls. So the Sage comes up with a solution to build another bridge. Only the king’s army will tear it down. Well it just so happens that Groo is in town. The Sage can use Groo to scare off the king’s army. This works great but now what to do with Groo. The Sage sends him off upstream to look for another place to cross. Groo thinks that means to build another bridge. He comes to a village and inadvertently plans an idea for them to build a dam. He also causes a rock slide that starts the process of damming the river. So now neither the Sage’s wealthy backers or the king are making any money since everyone can just walk across the dried up river.

The Sage a wise old man who travels around with his dog Mulch and a jug on a stick filled with water. He is probably the only one in the world besides Rufferto who truly views Groo as a friend. If he is so smart the big question is why does he never flee when Groo is around. His well thought out plans are usually foiled by the disaster that is Groo. Here Groo ruins the Sage’s plan but once again in a surprising twist Groo actually has made things better. The villagers no longer have to pay tolls and the village upstream gets a much needed dam. A rare outcome for Groo to leave an area better off than before he arrived.

Oh and Kayli and her pet dragon are still looking for her father.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #5

“Grooella”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Queen Grooella is in a dispute with the neighboring king Comino. They trade insults and when Comino goes to the worst insult of all, that Grooella is related to Groo, she looses her temper and marches the army off to war. Now Grooella’s army has high morale until they run into Groo. Groo decides to start attacking the army until they finally convince him that they are his sister’s soldiers. So Groo decides to join them.

Now Comino has planned this carefully. While Grooella’s army marches to where they think his army is located, they are going around them and heading straight for Grooella’s castle. The castle is defenseless. One of the ministers has an idea. Since Grooella looks like Groo she could impersonate her brother. The minister is immediately thrashed for his temerity of suggesting that she looks in any way like her brother. After careful consideration and she can see that maybe the plan will work. So she dresses to look like her brother and succeeds in scaring off Comino’s army. This army then runs into Groo and the returning army of his sister. Comino’s army runs back and takes shelter in Grooella’s castle. Groo also beats up his sister who he confuses as an imposter. Well it ends as any encounter with his sister. Grooella chasing after him trying to kill Groo.

So we meet Grooella Groo’s sister. She is definitely a foe. Since she was little Groo has been a bane on her life. His playing with fire ruined her beautiful hair into the frizzy style she has now. There is probably no one who wants to see Groo dead more than her. She is a queen and her kingdom has always suffered when her brother comes around. It always ends with her chasing after her brother with a sword. A very funny issue.

Also the Kayli subplot continues. She has bonded with a baby dragon and still looking for her father.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #4

“Arcadio the Hero”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Groo and Rufferto come upon Arcadio the hero battling two dragons. Naturally Groo jumps into this fray and chases the dragons off. Now you would think Arcadio would be grateful but he’s not. The dragons were ones he was training. Arcadio was going to go from town to town and sell his services in how to protect a village from dragons. The trained dragons were an important part of his scam. So the three go in search of the dragons. At the village Groo gets scammed into buying little lizards and attacking a man in a dragon costume. He hears that dragons are north so goes off in that direction.

Meanwhile Arcadio decides to start his dragon protection class without his dragons. While teaching the villagers Groo comes back with a baby dragon and the angry parents behind. The dragons destroy the village. This angers the villagers and they blame Arcadio who they run out of town.

Arcadio the Hero. A big chinned guy who has an ego to match. He is a bit overrated. Still he has managed to build up a reputation. The women love him and while he is brave he is also an egotistical ass. He treats Groo as a lackey and usually ends up taking credit for what Groo accomplishes. So it was great to see him get put in his place this issue. So once again a village is in ruins but Groo doesn’t get the blame. This is turning out the be a fun series.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #3

“Arba & Dakarba”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

Groo and Rufferto are traveling through a desolate land that is devoid of people. They come upon giant apparitions of Arba & Dakarba. The two evil witches have cast a spell to drive off people from their domain. Only Groo is too stupid to be scared of these giant illusions. So he continues on to a village. The village has been terrorized by the two witches and are desperate. So desperate they actually hire Groo to help them.

Now the two witches have to come up with something to defeat Groo. After careful consideration they feel only Groo could defeat Groo. So they create a giant Groo and order him to go destroy Groo. The giant is as dumb as Groo and spends its time eating the villagers food. So they then create a hundred normal size Groos. Groo gets into a fray with all these Groos and ends up destroying the village. The two witches use their last amount of power to banish the duplicate Groos. The giant Groos comes and demands food. Their power exhausted the duo are forced to flee the wrath of giant Groo. The villagers can now rebuild free of the evil witches tyranny. The young girl Kayli comes and asks Groo for help in finding her father which Groo gladly decides to help.

Arba & Dakarba are a mother daughter witch team. They are evil and have been known to try and use Groo in their evil schemes. Naturally Groo always causes them trouble and they usually lose their power. If you put their names together and spell it backwards you get Abra Kadabra. So this was a fun outing. Groo gets to have a fray with himself many times over. The evil witches get what’s coming to them and by some miracle the village actually comes out ahead.

Oh and we finally get the main quest that will be in this series. Groo has embraced the search for Kayli’s father.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #2

“Granny Groo”
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Sergio Aragones

So after wrecking Captain Ahax’s ship Groo decides to visit his grandmother. Granny Groo raised him into the man he became and has been apologizing for it ever since. Now Granny Groo lives with the gypsies and the gypsies have really pissed off the local village. They plan to burn down the gypsy camp and form a mob. When they arrive they find out Groo has already burned down half of it. Now the presence of Groo puts enough fear into them to abandon their plans. Granny Groo wisely uses Groo to intimidate the villagers into voluntarily giving up their money to her various scams. She eventually comes up with a plan to get rich and get rid of Groo at the same time. She put him up for sale as a bodyguard and has a raffle. The winner can use Groo to intimidate anyone. So the winner then uses Groo to bully the villagers into giving him anything he wants. Groo though misunderstands one of his commands and destroys the village. The villagers go after the hapless man while Groo decides to move on. Granny Groo ends up with a wheelbarrow full of money.

So Granny Groo. The woman who raised Groo and his sister Groella. Granny is a con artist who is always trying to separate people from their money. She seems to genuinely love her grandson while acknowledging that he is a complete imbecile and walking disaster. She gave young Groo many a spanking and has given the adult Groo a few spankings for his blunders. She usually tries to use Groo for one of her many schemes to get rich with disastrous results. In this instance she actually came out ahead at the expenses of a poor village.

We also get introduced to young Kayli. A little girl looking for her father. She was a passenger on the ill fated ship from last issue and now she hooks up with the gypsies. Granny Groo has plans to use her in her larcenous schemes and young Kayli’s quest will become more central to the overall story arch.