Garth EnnisStrontium Dog2000 AD
Strontium Dogs: How The Gronk Got His Heartses
Medium: comic
Year: 1993
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Nigel Dobbyn
Country: UK
Keywords: Strontium Dog, 2000 AD
Format: 2000 AD 850-851
Website category: Comics UK
Review date: 4 March 2022
It's an inconsequential, mildly charming curiosity. Our furry hero is hanging out on Parnell's World when a small child approaches him, wanting to hear an exciting story about his adventures all over the galaxy. The Gronk obliges, but with a story he (and we) hadn't been expecting. It's Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. "Long times ago, best beloveds, when the galaxy was youngs, and the seventeen systems were but a twinkles in the mind's eyes..."
God created the universe, so of course that included the first Gronk. Unfortunately, God's a shoddy operator who forgets things. "I - I haven't got any heartses!" says the first Gronk. "Hey! Hey, Mr Gods!"
Whoops, says God. Sorry about that. Clean slipped my mind. Tell you what, I'll finish making the galaxy, then I'll have a cup of tea and I'll sort you out. Alas, though, that wasn't God's only whoopsie, with another being the planet Earth. "That's the world of the humans, son, and they are bad news. They're going to do nowt but fight and slaughter and kill. In a couple of million years they'll have totally ruined their own planet. So after that, they'll just mosey on out here and ruin everyone else's."
God's not asking the first Gronk to stop the humans. No one could. Instead, he's going to give him two hearts and the job of healing all the hatred caused by mankind. This will make him so weak that he could die from a sneeze, but hey.
This is a kind of storytelling you don't normally see in 2000 AD. In its way, it's both silly and heartfelt. I'm fond of it.