Groo, going off to do what Groo does best (cause destruction). Artist: Sergio Aragones.


Medium: Comic books
Originally published by: Eclipse Enterprises
First Appeared: 1982
Creator: Sergio Aragones
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Groo the Wanderer first appeared in Destroyer Duck, a benefit comic book published by Eclipse Enterprises in 1982, to help Steve Gerber out in a lawsuit involving his creation, Howard the Duck. Of all the characters to debut in that comic — including Destroyer Duck himself — Groo proved the most popular and long-lasting. A few months later, the second Groo story appeared in …

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… the back pages of Starslayer, published by Pacific Comics, and by the end of the year, Pacific had given him a comic of his own.

Groo is the very epitome of the barbarian too stupid to know which way is up, yet superb in battle against any odds. So unlucky any ship he sets foot on sinks, but able to emerge from any level of violence without a scratch. Uttering his famous battle cry, "And now Groo does what Groo does best," he will eagerly take on an army, and emerge the only one standing. Sort of what Conan the Barbarian would be, if his writers didn't take him seriously.

When Pacific Comics folded, in 1984, the character briefly returned to Eclipse, before beginning a ten-year run at Marvel. In 1995, the Marvel contract was not renewed. Since then, Groo series have been published by Image (Spawn) and Dark Horse Comics (The Mask), but his many fans continue to seek him out no matter who happens to be his publisher du jour.

Incredibly, the same creative team has stayed with him all these years, through all those publishers — not just cartoonist Sergio Aragones, who created the character and has plotted and drawn every adventure, but also scripter Mark Evanier (who has writing credits all over the comics and animation industries), colorist Tom Luth (another with credits at practically every comics publisher), and letterer Stan Sakai (whose own character, Usagi Yojimbo, is another long-lived one that benefits from competition among publishers).

Groo no longer appears every month, as he did during the Marvel days. But the team still manages to squeeze an occasional mini-series or graphic novel into their schedule, so we can be sure that Groo will continue doing what Groo does best — entertaining his audience with hilarious barbarian adventures — for a long time to come.


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Text ©2000-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Sergio Aragones.