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Sgt Wu And Captain Renard Take Center Stage In Grimm – Portland, Wu

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  • Sgt Wu And Captain Renard Take Center Stage In Grimm – Portland, Wu

    The Grimm universe is shifting gears, focusing on Sgt. Wu and traveling to Portland all in a new one-shot from Dynamite Entertainment. Kevin Pearl caught up with writers Kyle McVey and Marc Gaffen to talk about the new special and working with artist Daniel Govar.

    KEVIN PEARL: What can fans of the show expect going into the comic?

    Kyle McVey: They can expect to see Sgt. Wu as you’ve never seen him before; alone and working outside the boundaries of the law. We promise that he’ll be deeper than he’s ever been in Wesen affairs (not that he’ll ever know it) and be in genuine danger of losing everything he holds dear.

    Marc Gaffen: And you’ll see how Captain Renard became the main man when it comes to Wesen affairs in Portland.

    KP: A missing girl, a femme fatale, a dark family secret… This particular story has a distinctive Noir style to it. What made you take it in that direction?

    KM: When we were given the opportunity to do these one shots, we wanted to focus on characters that we didn’t get the opportunity to give their proper due in the main “Grimm” comic run. We’re both huge fans of Sgt. Wu and Captain Renard, so from the beginning we knew we wanted it to be both of them. The noir part kind of started as a joke with Wu. I’ve always loved film noir so I thought, “If you’re going to do a story arc starring this sarcastic, fun character then why don’t we make it a hard boiled noir?” Marc was into it, so we dug in. The nice thing was that it immediately gave these comics a different feel than the other “Grimm” titles. And the noir theme carried over into the second arc with Renard.

    KP: Speaking of Noir, were there any influences, you found yourselves going back to as you worked on the comic?

    KM: I’m insanely obsessed with LA Confidential and the title “It’s Portland, Wu” is a shout out to Chinatown. So I found myself going back to those and more classic films, The Maltese Falcon, Sunset Blvd, Third Man, The Killing, whatever I already had on my DVD shelf. The thing about noir is that it has so many well known tropes for you to work with as a writer. We had a lot of fun bending the established world of Grimm to fit them. The femme fatale, big time crime bosses, the convoluted plot, the double cross… the twists and turns are all there. And hopefully, the reader won’t see them coming.

    KP: Daniel Govar, seemed to deliver just the right amount of Noir fueled tension, combined with Kevin Colden’s colors. What was it like working with the artists on this project?

    MG: Can we curse in this? Because God damn they are good! I don’t think we’ve worked with an art team that was on the same wavelength with us right out of the gate. As soon as we started seeing Daniel’s layouts, we knew that he was going to nail it. The style is divergent from the other Grimm titles, but in the best possible way. He transformed the Grimm world into a classic film noir. And Kevin’s color is perfect. I think the deeper and deeper Wu is drug into this plot, the darker and darker the color palette becomes. And once Renard’s story starts delving into his past, we get a classic black and white look. Working with them was a great experience. I don’t think Kyle or myself would be upset if we got the opportunity to work with either of them again.

    KP: The second story in the collection, “Renard’s Reckoning” reads almost like the secret origin of one of the shows more senior characters, Sean Renard, how does it impact the current story arc?

    MG: We’ll come out and say it, the comics aren’t considered “official” cannon for the show. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t some crossover once in a while, but the Renard origin told here won’t directly impact the show’s direction. But we do hope that this backstory will add new and unexpected dimensions to a character people have already come to love. Renard is much more than just “Shirtless Rage” and his background is a rich well for us to go back to. From his time growing up with the Royals, to escaping with his mother, he’s had a rough and interesting life. I hope we get an opportunity to delve into it again.

    KP: What do you guys want readers to take away from the story overall? Any chance we’ll see these characters turn up on their own again?


    KM: That your friendly, neighborhood Wu is a bad mother! And well, I guess we just double confirm Renard’s badass status. Mostly, we just wanted fans of the show to see these characters in a different light and for people unfamiliar with the show to get a great story. I think we accomplished that. I hope we accomplished it. I dunno, buy it and tell us!

    MG: As for returning characters, one of the main characters in “Renard’s Reckoning” is one of the characters from “It’s Portland, Wu”. But it won’t be who you think. It was a cool way to give each of these seemingly unconnected stories a through line beyond the style and genre. And I think it’d be nice to let Wu and Renard take the spotlight again sometime down the road.

    KP: Any chance we’ll get more looks into the past from other characters down the road? There seems to be a lot of History around the different types of Wesens.

    MG: There’s always a chance for sure. Half the fun of Grimm is implementing real life history into our mythology. Teddy Roosevelt: President Grimm?

    KM: I think that we would love the opportunity to trace Nick’s bloodline back and see some of his ancestors in action throughout history. It was an idea we were going to implement in the first trade but it deserves it’s own series for sure. Riiiight? Eh?

    For more on Grimm – Portland, WU one-shot, click here.
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