Sean Ryan’s one-shot, FLASHPOINT: GRODD OF WAR, takes its readers on a trip to a war-ravaged Africa. Led by his hunger for violence and power, Grodd has successfully taken over the continent and has been made king of all the land. With plans for expanding his empire globally, Grodd is not a character to be overlooked. We talked to Sean about his tortured protagonist and what the ramifications of his rule of Africa might have on the FLASHPOINT universe:
THE SOURCE: While Grodd gives off a very tough exterior, he's clearly tortured by his own personal demons. Why is Grodd such a haunted figure, even in a world without a Flash?
SEAN RYAN: I think because there is no Flash in this world, that's why Grodd feels like crap most of the time. He's missing that challenge, or at least, that person who could give him a challenge. Stuff is coming too easily for Grodd in this world and he sort of hates that. He's a smart dude, Grodd. He likes to be intellectually stimulated. And he's not getting that.
SR: Power. He craves power over things. I think it mainly comes from a sense that he knows he's smarter than everyone else, so why shouldn't he be in charge? I certainly think that's what motivated Grodd to start his conquest of Africa. Now that the conquest is nearly over...His motivation is starting to change.
Tensions between Aquaman and Wonder Woman have had global ramifications. How does Grodd fit into the hierarchy of international super powers?
SR: He really doesn't. They ignore him. A thing I wanted to touch on in the story is how Africa is often ignored. There's awful things happening in Africa all the time in our own world and we don't really know about it. It usually takes some kind of celebrity to point it out to us. So that's sort of what's going on in Africa in Flashpoint. Grodd has taken over Africa and turned it into a mass grave, but the world could care less. They're more focused on Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
Grodd is a world leader. How does he rule Africa? Is he an isolationist?
SR: He rules Africa not very well, but he's not terribly concerned with running it very well. Grodd's not really one to enact wide ranging social programs. And he's an isolationist at the start of the story...But by the end of the story, you'll see Grodd start to look out at the rest of the world and see an incentive for joining the bigger war, but for reasons you might not have expected.
If Grodd's Africa had a motto, what would it be?
SR: I was looking up famous quotes and mottos for this question and found this insane quote from Joseph Stalin that sums Grodd's Africa and the story pretty well: "Death solves all problems."