Please note that this page is for the spirit of Grendel itself. Each of the individual people who have been possessed by it, and have undertaken the identity of Grendel, have their own pages.
The Grendel lineage would go on to last hundreds of years, beginning with the sadistic genius Hunter Rose, continuing with his granddaughter Christine Spar, and moving to her boyfriend Brian Li Sung. From there the Grendel legacy would continue to change in meaning, becoming the literal embodiment of the Devil. Lasting hundreds of years and enduring many evolutions, this mantle would continue to be worn by others including Eppy Thatcher, Orion Assante, and Grendel Prime.
It should be noted that two supernatural beings have claimed that Hunter Rose was not the first Grendel. However, it is also possible that they were lying.
The Character of Grendel
When the character of Grendel was first introduced, it seemed to only be an alias for Hunter Rose in his masked identity. However, it soon became clear that it was some sort of unknown, abstract spirit that possessed or infected different individuals, and even societies, over time. There has been some discussion over what exactly the core character of this spirit of Grendel is, for the people it has infected have had fairly different personalities and have acted in seemingly very different ways. They have been crime lords, avenging mothers, madmen, kings, and protective warriors--not much seems to link them together. Grendel is often characterized as evil, or the devil, but that is not exactly it, or at least that is not all of it.
Christine Spar, the second Grendel, described Grendel as "the demon of society's mediocrity," something that "has always been." Specifically describing Hunter Rose, she said "he burned with a potency that rarely rears itself in society. Sadly, we often miss the beginning sparks of such infernos, and so must suffer their consumption rather than profit by their well-nurtured warmth and power." She seems to see it as a heightened individualism, something that fights against Emerson's idea of consistency as the hobgoblin of little minds. She described being Grendel as being surrounded by the tide of fate and human mendacity, but fighting against it, feeling vital and in control (although this feeling may have been an illusion created by Grendel). Perhaps Grendel is the harrowing power of evolution itself, the survival of the fittest, red in tooth and claw.
Matt Wagner, the creator of Grendel, often spoke of it in contrast to his work on Mage. He described Grendel as a study in the nature of aggression. This fits the many people who have been Grendel, some of whom have been clearly evil, some of whom have merely been caught up in the whirling inferno of aggression that swept away their original identity and replaced it with that of Grendel. He said (in the preface to the main Grendel series, issue 1) that when he started, it was about good versus evil, but then became more about Grendel's Machiavellian qualities, continuing, "Aggression has worn, and always will wear a number of faces and know a lot of names. So will Grendel."
While Grendel sometimes seems to be more of a metaphor than a specific being, there are ways to tell that it is some kind of palpable spirit. For instance, when Christine Spar first undertook the identity of Grendel, Argent was immediately able to sense it from a distance. It also seems that she was able to hide herself from Tujiro's mystical senses while she was under the direct influence of the Grendel persona. Many of the people whom Grendel possessed have grown a white streak in the side of their hair after becoming Grendel, showing its supernatural effects.
Grendel is generally not shown visibly, and does not speak directly. One exception was during the time it possessed Brian Li Sung. It used his left hand to scrawl notes on the back of his normal journal pages. At first it just quoted the writings of Christine Spar and Hunter Rose. However, it slowly began to speak as an individual. Eventually, Li Sung became aware of the writings and knew that he was possessed. The spirit of Grendel was originally troubled because Brian fought back against him. However, it ultimately said that it "got a kick out of this host." Even as Brian managed to let himself be killed in order to thwart Grendel's plans, it wasn't worried: Brian was just a shell, and Grendel "shall live forever." It just took over a new host. In addition to its writing on the backs of Brian's journal pages, there is also a single abstract drawing of its "face," a monstrous version of the classic Grendel mask.
Not much is known about the life of Hunter Rose before he returned to America. His name is not known, only that as a child he went by "Eddie". Eddie was of exceptional brilliance, later to be discovered that the source may have been a rare genetic mutation allowing him to use virtually 100% of his brainpower. Eddie was bored and alone. School, sports, and most other endeavors did not provide adequate challenge. To say that Eddie excelled at everything he tried his hand at would be an understatement. Eddie found that he was quite fond of solo sports, particularly fencing. He went to the world fencing championship in England and easily won first place. It was there that he met Jocasta Rose, a trainer for the English team. The two quickly fell in love, and Jackie took on the role of a mentor as well as a lover to Eddie.
The profoundness of Jackie's influence became even more evident after her death. Eddie returned to America, adopting the name and lifestyle of bestselling author Hunter Rose. He also listened closely and secretly to the inner workings of the city's criminal underworld. Adopting the masked and identity of the assassin Grendel, Rose easily impressed mob bosses and was hired as a personal assassin. Armed with a staff with a forked blade, Grendel Rose to the top of his organization, becoming his former boss's leader. Income soared under Rose's leadership. Rose struck fear into the hearts of criminals in his and other organizations, still killing when it suited his purposes. His business continued to expand, and he caught the eye more and more of Argent the Wolf.
After the death of business associate Barry Palumbo, Rose adopted Palumbo's adopted niece, Stacy Palumbo. Rose and Argent both adored young Stacy, and this allowed Rose to keep closer tabs on Argent (now Grendel's arch-nemesis), leading to the carefully planned public humiliation of Argent in front of the affluent, the media, and particularly young Stacy. Stacy's relationship with Argent wained, the young girl no longer looking at him as the same after Argent's humiliation, until they no longer spoke. Despite Rose's best efforts this had the unintended consequence of Stacy changing, becoming more sad. Argent became more ferocious than before, and continued to pit the wealth of his rage against his hated enemy Grendel.
At some point, Rose felt like he was being followed, and eventually met a supernatural Dire-Imp who claimed to have been watching him for his whole life. Not only that, it said that it had been influencing Rose, shaping him to become the malicious man he grew up to be. This makes it sound like this Imp may in fact be Grendel. This is further backed up by a very similar story written by the adult, insane Stacy. However, Wagner has said in an interview that the Dire-Imp was probably lying, as devils tend to do.
Eventually during planning of an event which would allow Rose to take control of virtually all criminal activity on the entire seaboard, Stacy would discover that her "uncle" Hunter was really Grendel. It would take her longer to discover what this really meant, but Stacy put all of her effort into learning about Grendel. She did not like what she would discover. In her continued efforts to learn more about Hunter's dark side, Stacy would eventually discover the secret location of the journals detailing his criminal activities and double life. She was able to break into his antiquated safe, and discovered that Hunter Rose had killed her uncle Barry. This discovery shattered her world, and she was determined to destroy him and use Argent as a means to her ends.
Stacy would act as an anonymous informant, using Rose's own journals of his business dealings against him. She would make phone calls to Argent's private line, giving him information about Grendel's upcoming dealings and potential contacts. Hunter became increasingly angry and suspicious of his nemesis. Hunter Rose's demise would come when Stacy had finally set up her plans to bring Argent and Rose into final conflict. Stacy called Argent claiming to have been kidnapped by Grendel. Argent tour through one of Grendel's operations in order to get Grendel's attention. Enraged at one another, Grendel and Argent decided to meet on the roof of the Masonic Temple. After the final battle, the police would discover Argent paralyzed on the roof, with the slain and unmasked body of Hunter Rose nearby. Stacy would be institutionalized for what could be determined of her role. Argent went into seclusion.
Hunter Rose's legacy as Grendel was not over with his death. As Hunter had once seen in a demonic vision, the legacy and reign of Grendel would continue through the centuries, continually mutating through various forms.
Stacy Palumbo was raped by her therapist and had a child while institutionalized. She refused to give the child up, and Christine Spar was born in the hospital. Christine would grow up to become a reporter for the New York Times, and have a son Anson Spar. Her husband, a war correspondent, died on the job leaving her alone to raise Anson. In an attempt to come to grips with her origin, Christine eventually sought out her mother. Stacy told her of her dark roots, and gave Christine the location of Rose's hidden journals. With the se logs, Christine would become known as the foremost expert on Grendel, and published the book Grendel: Devil by the Deed about his life.
Christine's friend Regina Anastasi introduced her and Anson to famed kabuki dancer Tujiro XIV during a tour stop in New York City. Unknown to all, Tujiro kidnapped and murdered Anson before moving to his next stop. Within a day Christine figured out who took Anson, and in order to get him back she broke into the Library and stole her grandfather's costume and weapon. At this time Argent realized that Grendel had returned.
Christine tracked Tujiro and his goons to their next stop in San Francisco where she met Brian Li Sung, the manager of the theatre that Tujiro was about to perform at. At first Christine used Brian to get closer to Tujiro, however the two quickly began to fall for each other. Christine fought Tujiro more than once, killing one of his henchman. Christine discovered that Tujiro was something other than human. When Christine discovered that Tujiro was planning on kidnapping Brian to sell him into slavery she made a final stand at Brian's apartment. She maimed another of Tujiro's henchman and during the battle with Christine Tujiro turned into a mangy cat and escaped.
Christine left abruptly, determined to give up being Grendel. After he learned of her leaving, Brian followed closely behind. Christine's resolution to discontinue her dark path would end soon after returning home, as Argent and police Captain Albert Wiggins continued to harass her and those close to her about the reappearance of Grendel. Despite Brian's efforts to dissuade her from pursuing Argent, Christine was determined to destroy her enemy.
Christine confronted Argent at his home while Brian slept. Argent was prepared. The fight was savage. Argent destroyed Christine's staff and costume, and the two did considerable damage to each other. At the end of the fight Chistine and Argent died at each other's hands. Brian arrived in time to find Christine's slain body.
Brian Li Sung
Soon after Christine's death, Brian received a letter from Christine mailed on the evening of her death. The letter contained the location where Christine had buried Hunter Rose's original journals as well as her own notes and private journals. Brian remained in New York, taking a job as the manager of a run down theater. He was determined to learn more about the darkness that drove both Christine and her grandfather. Detective Wiggins continued to harass Brian about Grendel. His time in New York, and unique insight into the two former Grendels changed him. Exposed to the darker side of New York City, Brian began to lose faith in humanity and became angry, darker. Eventually he started to believe that the evil of Grendel began to talk to him, and control him.
Embracing the darkness he felt, Brian made his own Grendel mask, and adopted the identity for himself. As Grendel Brian attacked a security guard at the theater, and killed a mugger that tried to mug him while in the park where Christine's notes were buried. This provoked Detective Wiggins to investigate Brian further. Enraged, Brian now set his sights and rage towards Wiggins. Brian followed Wiggins, learning his normal routine. One the evening he decided to attack he grew careless, purposefully allowing Wiggins to know he was watching. He expected that he would be able to instill the fear that Grendel naturally gave people in Wiggins, but he was mistaken. Wiggens left for the park and Brian followed, armed with a bow. Wiggins followed Brian's every move and when Brian moved into position to strike Wiggins pulled his pistol and fired. Brian fell out of the tree he was perched in and died in the snow.
The Incubation Years
Detective Wiggins eventually retired, and according to his own accounts he was prodded by those around him to write a book about his experience with two Grendels. Ironically, Wiggins decided not to write a book about the Grendels that he had direct experience with, but would instead write a book about Hunter Rose, the original Grendel. Eventually Wiggins' electronic eye would begin to fail. Instead of seeing people as they would normally appear he saw gruesome, distorted characteratures of those around him. Fans of his book, people he worked with, strangers on the street, even his wife appeared vulgar and hideous. His malfunctioning eye caused his mental health to begin to deteriorate. He went to his doctor to get his eye serviced, however the doctor could see nothing wrong with it. Wiggins began to mistrust even his doctor, and refused follow-up testing. He began to fear that he was becoming Grendel. Eventually his growing rage overcame him and he lashed out, stabbing his wife in the eye, presumably killing her. There he sat in a pool of blood, mad and waiting for the police to arrest him. Whether he was Grendel, or was only used by Grendel, his books were an important part of Grendel's plans to infect all of society.
The incubation period continued with Grendel's rise to icon status. Mega-corporations grew in power and the Grendel iconography would proliferate in all of mediums. These media giants would regard their own interests as paramount. The need for higher and higher ratings and an ever increasing bottom line would drive them. When the president's nationalistic attitude threatened a free trade agreement with Russia that would ensure even grater profits, the corporations instigated a nuclear war that would throw the world into turmoil. Several major middle-eastern OPEC nations would be destroyed by the fallout and a large portion of the world's oil supply would be rendered unusable. When the majority of the world moved towards a dependance on solar power entire populations would migrate closer to the equator. In America the majority moved towards California, leaving the East to gangs warring over the small remaining supply of available oil. Within one gang Grendel would become a symbol of power and status. As time would pass the Church would rise in power. Striving to gain control over the media and pharmaceutical industries the Church would use Grendel as a symbol for everything that is evil. Grendel would come to embody pure evil, a symbol of the Devil.
Matt Wagner described the incubation periods like this:
The name/image/character of Grendel has now attained a social identity equal to that of the Christian anti-Christ...We saw Grendel go from being a personal vision to a corporate persona to a tribal totem and, eventually, and archetype. All this happened as the Grendel essence itself witnessed and fed off violence enacted against a lover, against society, against family, and, finally, against the self. So Grendel is now, undeniably, the devil--the spark of violence and destruction.
By 2512 the Catholic Vatican (Vatican Ouest) had been moved to Colorado. The center of religious power was an immense and sprawling series of interconnected towers that were perpetually made larger and larger. Brilliant but troubled, Eppy Thatcher grew up in a religious household, and was subject to continued abuse due to his mother's beliefs. Eppy would grow up to see the church as a symbol for greed and corruption, and adopting the mantle of Grendle, now the church's symbol of the devil, he sought to bring down the dominance of Pope Innocent XLII. Pope Innocent was a the new identity of Tujiro XIV who had ascended the church's ranks at some point during the church's rise to power.In his first public appearance as Grendel, Thatcher came into the church during its Ash Wednesday mass and stole the combined donations from its collection plates. Later he would strike at the church's corrupt Bazaar, and again during the Bazaar's reconstruction celebration. Fueled by the drug Grendel, Thatcher possessed greater strength and agility than most normal men. Using this and his own intellect he was able to continually evade both the church and Pellon Cross, the mercenary that was hired to bring the devil down.
Thatcher was different from previous Grendels in that he openly associated himself with the Devil, and wanted to be his tool on Earth. He believed the Devil was a positive, active force that was more akin to humanity's real nature than the passive, debasing God reflected in the Church of that time.
The actions of this new Grendel would gain the attention of Orion Assante. A wealthy aristocrat, Assante saw the corruption of the Church and sought to bring it down. He had been working since he was 37 against the Church, and now seeks to eliminate the funds matching that the church has enjoyed. Due to the match-funds clause the Church received money from the UCSA government to match its donations. Orion's investigations would prove to be a thorn in the side of the Pope and the church. Secret documents detailing illegal schematics for atomic weapons and cover-ups of shadowy dealings would be uncovered by Assante's investigation. On multiple occasions Assante met personally with the Pope, each time angering him.
Assante and Thatcher would continue to launch their own separate attacks at the Catholic Church from opposite angles. Orion's investigations continued to produce evidence of the church's corrupt spending and even indications of Innocent's evil plans. Endangered by what he was learning and by his fight against the church, Assante was driven underground into an underground complex built by his father when he was excommunicated from the church. There, Assante's cause continued to grow and recruit. They launched underground attacks against the church by pirating the church's televised broadcasts. Assante's sisters who refused to go into hiding were eventually targeted by the church and killed in a car-chase resulting in a crash with a garbage truck.
Thatcher, on the other hand, continued to interrupt the church's workings in similar and more malicious ways. He stole from the church. He pirated the church's television broadcasts (including those that Assante's group had pirated themselves) and openly ridiculed the church on many occasions. Thatcher attacked the C.O.P.s and slipped hallucinogens in the communion wafers designated for church officials. He also drugged the incenses to create havoc during the church celebrations. Thatcher placed vibrating mechanisms in the base of statues erected by the church to destroy them during church events.
The battles against the church would end on the day that Pope Innocent planned to reveal his ultimate weapon to the world, the Sun Gun. The Sun Gun was a device powerful enough to black out the sun. With most of the world relying on solar power for their energy supply, this would make the entire world dependent on the power of the church. Simultaneously Orion Assante led his rebels and Pellon Cross (now a vampire) led a legion of hundreds of vampires against the church while Grendel made his own final assault on the chuch. Assante's men, church officials, and vampires would do battle throughout the church compound while Grendel and Innocent battled on the top of the sung gun. The battle culminated in the partial destruction of the sun gun and the sun gun destroying Pope Innocent XLII as well as the church tower. The tower crashed down killing most of the worshippers, and many bystanders. Cross and his vampires retreated to regroup. Innocent was dead, and Assante was unscathed, and the church tower was destroyed.
The final battle at the church tower ended with Pope Innocent XLII dead and Vatican Ouest in ruins. This was a major victory for Assante, however with the church destroyed there would be much work to rebuild. There was a vacuum left by the destruction of the church. C.O.P. forces had broken down into smaller, disorganized local bands. People were confused. Worries of vampirism and hunger plagued the people. At the advise of Sherri Canniff, the council which Assante served under promoted him to head the reconstruction efforts which he and Orion's Sword had already begun. With Orion's Sword, Assante had been working to cull the vampire problem and to provide information and assistance to the people through the television infrastructure which he cultivated while he was underground working against the church. Struggling to overcome the deaths of his sisters, Orion found solace and strength in Sherri, and the two began cultivating a relationship. Meanwhile, Cross and his vampires moved to Las Vegas and set up a base in Caesar's Palace.
The next major step in rebuilding would be to reunite the nation under one common banner. COP would merge into Orion's Sword, and the group was loyal to Assante, soon to be known as the Grendel Kahn. Through clever manipulation of the people and strong leadership, Orion convinced the public to pass a referendum to establish the nation of Calmerica. As the head of Calmerica, Orion fought for recognition on a global scale. While never marrying, his relationship with Sherri was well understood and she became an ambassador of sorts. Sherri would be away from Orion for long periods for diplomatic reasons, and so she sent him the psychic Manny McDoon. McDoon would use his skills to read the true intentions of those around Assante, and could converse with Orion using his natural telepathic abilities. Quickly becoming Orion's right hand man, Manny would always remain at Orion's side. Manny gave Orion the advantage in almost every situation of governance and diplomacy, and Orion became known even more for his strength as a leader and his ability to come to the truth of matters.
On a global scale, Calmerica's growing presence was welcomed by allies but disliked by their remaining enemies, particularly Japan. Japan had begun to provide television signals to Australia and pressure allies such as Africa and South America to cease selling food to Calmerica, an act that could prove particularly devistating. Orion moved swiftly to create a system of sustainable food production on a scale that had not been seen in the country since before the time of Vatican Ouest. Orion also moved to broker deals to establish an Australian branch of Orion's Sword in order to prevent losing their alliance to the Japanese. Orion's Sword in Australia grew to the point that the Australian governmnent ceased the use of their own military. Orion's Sword also began producing their own televised programming with more uplifting messages to combat that of the Japanese. Despite pressures from Japan, the Australian people decided to strengthen themselves by merging with the Calmerican government to form the United Nations of the World or UNOW. Due to growing social pressures, Assante's regime no longer sought to eliminate the vampires and instead embraced their use of Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas. The Casino became an internment facility, forcing the vampires to remain on the grounds. Due to the large cost of feeding the vampires, iIn time the casino would be allowed to open its doors again to the public with strict regulations protecting living visitors.
The creation of UNOW only made Assante realize that he needed to continue expansion of his world government. His sights were set on the South American nation of SCAUR, the only other power in the same hemisphere. With the worlds eyes on UNOW he would need to be careful. Acts of aggression could give the other world powers the reason they needed to initiate war. Orion met clandestinely a prominent scauran drug lord to plan the infiltration of SCAUR. The scauran president was assassinated, causing a power struggle within the country. As Orion intended, the next in line for the presidency was appointed and the country entered a downward spiral. Desperate, the president officially asked UNOW for assistance. UNOW troops were able to enter the country legitimately, while the rest of the world could only watch. Rapidly, the former empire of SCAUR was absorbed into UNOW, nearly doubling UNOW's population and increasing their power base.
After the new growth of UNOW Orion began a world tour attempting to convince other nations to join the worldwide empire. The first stop was in Africa, where the Kahn was presented a warm welcome. Before leaving for the next leg of his journey, Assante found that Sherri had been kidnapped. Assante was quickly contacted by the kidnappers who informed him that Sherri's safety would only be ensured by waiting. Orion was forced to wait. The kidnapping organization's demands were that UNOW withdraw all forces from Africa as well as the former SCAUR and discontinue interferance in the affairs of other sovereign nations.
Upon tracking the messenger that made the actual demands, Assante was able to confirm his suspicions that the kidnappers were African, and that the African government played the role of a friend while organizing the kidnapping. Assante organized a military occupation of the African capitol and the compound where Sherri was being held. Sherri's release was ordered, and followed by the kidnappers. The resulting military occupation was condemned by the other world powers, particularly Great Japan. It was shortly later that Assante would learn that the kidnapping was funded by the Japanese and that the Africans were actually not involved. The rouse worked and UNOW looked like an aggressor to the rest of the world. As the Orion's Sword forces attempted to quell resistance within Africa, Great Japan's forces began to seek control as well. Africa's status as the only nation with nuclear capabilities made it a clear danger for the losers of the conflict.
One of the Kahn's officers whose ships were close to the shores of India docked his fleet, claiming that they needed assistance. The Indian government immediately surrendered power to the greater "invasion forces". This undesired second occupation stretched the Kahn's forces thinner and on another separate front. China and Japan were both riled by UNOW forces encroaching into Asia. Small bands of resistance forces fought against Assante's armies. To make matters worse Chinese forces came into conflict with the Sword forces moving through India near the Chinese boarder. Using a superior knowledge of the terrain and because Assante's forces were already exhausted from traveling through the mountains the Chinese were able to bring the battle to a standstill. In Las Vegas, Cross and his vampires used the governments distraction to their advantage, plotting to escape Grendel's Palace and occupy the remainder of Vegas.
Breaking down due to the stress of leading half of the word and fighting against the other half, Orion fled to the seclusion of his Colorado estate with Manny. China and Japan had announced cooperation in fighting off the movement of the western forces. To make matters worse the general who originally invaded India wanted to use Africa's nuclear capabilities to launch a massive attack on Japan and China. Orion's trusted assistant Fadi was forced to employ holographic simulations of the Kahn in hopes of maintaining the ranks. The general was unconvinced and eventually issued an ultimatum of a nuclear strike if he were unable to talk to the Kahn directly. To make matters worse a desperate Japan made the threat of a nuclear strike if UNOW did not withdraw completely from Africa and India.
Being away from the pressures of leading did not have an instant effect on the Grendel Kahn's mental health. While he was away he began to believe that he was possessed by the devil, and that the evil in him was a direct result of him willfully accepting the mangle of Grendel. He believed that his only chance at salvation would lie in locating the only other living being to deal with the evil that he saw in himself. He forced an already weakened and decaying Manny to psychically seek out the twisted min of Eppy Thatcher. Because of Thatcher's full descent into madness, making a connection was extremely difficult and even painful for Manny. Manny was finally able to locate Thatcher in the sewers in Las Vegas, ironically hiding under Grendel's Palace, the strain of which ended Manny's life. Assante quickly went to Vegas and brought the tortured soul back to the Sun House with him.
When the Kahn reemerged he arrested the would be mutineer and made an outward appearance of complying with the demands of the Asian nations. Assante refused to resort to a nuclear strike which would contaminate the lands for generations. Secretly, he had his top scientists combing through the remaining data they salvaged from Vatican Ouest, locating the plans for the Sun Gun (an idea that he got by listening to Thatcher's insane ramblings as he slowly died). While destructive, the Sun Gun technology proved to provide an ultimate weapon while lacking the fallout of a nuclear strike. UNOW's engineers and scientists were able to complete their knowledge of the weapon and designed a version known as the Sun Disc that could be employed by missile against their enemies. The Chinese and Japanese governments could not have prepared for the strike that befell them. Japanese and Chinese powers were wiped out in one move. Assante began the task of rebuilding, a task that he was much more familiar with and comfortable with than global conquest. The world now looked towards Assante for guidance and leadership during uncertain times. Orion Assante was now Grendel Kahn I, ruler of nearly the entire world.
The rule of Orion I would last over 50 years. Orion kept a firm military presence over the entire globe in the form of his elite army, the Grendels. Since there was no war the Kahn held regular tournaments where Grendels could battle to the death for honor and glory. Sherri had died before taking over the Earth, and as Fadi slowly slipped away she continually pushed Orion to secure the future of the world by providing his people with an heir to the throne. Once he was alone again Orion selected Laurel Kennedy, a young and manipulative advisor who had moved through the Kahn's ranks to be his wife and the mother of his heir. Kennedy tried desperately to become pregnant. Upon providing Orion I an heir she would cement her future as ruler of the world as well. After much effort medical intervention would be warranted. The doctors found that Laurel would be unable to bear another child without dying, a condition most likely caused by the pregnancy and birth of her first daughter. Rather than risk Laurel's health, Orion decided to bear the heir himself. Advances in medical technology allowed for a man to be artificially inseminated, and an artificial womb was created for the prince within the Kahn himself. This was seen by his subjects as a loyal measure of self-sacrifice. Kennedy was not pleased because the act further removed her from a rightful seat at the throne. In the meantime an attempted assassination by a vampire made Orion weary of the plague that had remained since the fall of the church. He ordered his Grendels to destroy the city of Vegas that the vampires now controlled. Most died, however some did manage to escape through the desert.
Orion's pregnancy would come to term and Jupiter Assante was born. Orion remained in seclusion, raising and teaching Jupiter throughout his remaining years. Assante knew that one day Jupiter would rise to the role of Grendel Kahn and be a great leader. When Orion I died, Laurel Kennedy announced a year of mourning, and that because of the heir's youth and unpreparedness she would step up to lead the world until his coming of age. Jupiter and Laurel would be hidden away at the Dakota compound for their own safety and protection.
During the Kahn's life the man that would come to be known as Grendel prime was one of his most powerful warriors, and his most loyal paladins. Even in his final years, Assante knew of the possibility that Kennedy could not be trusted and that the life of his child would remain in constant jeopardy. It was Prime who would be given the incredible task of protecting the only blood-related heir to the throne in the likely event of Orion's death. In transforming into Grendel Prime, Prime's body suffered immense agony and at multiple points during the process he died and was revived. Prime's body was stripped of much of his flesh and blood, and robotic components were used to augment his form. Prime was a solar-powered cyborg, and was built to be the ultimate warrior. Prime would also become Assante's ultimate weapon as he stripped the Sun Disc of some necessary components and had them built into Prime's mechanical body. Never actually trusting Kennedy, Orion let her know nothing of Prime's existence or purpose.
After the Kahn's death Grendel Prime was activated, and went to the Dakota complex where Jupiter was hidden to complete his prime directive. Prime killed nearly all of the guards at the complex and stole Jupiter away, fleeing into the wilderness on his hover-cycle. Kennedy instantly sends elite red devils to apprehend Jupiter. Prime kills her soldiers and makes his way to Chicago, and then to New York City in hopes of throwing her off his trail. New York City had become a barren wasteland known as "the pit". Levels of radiation and toxins in the air had transformed all who remained there into mutants and zombies. Prime fought his way through the pit and continued through to Louisiana. In another attempt to throw Kennedy off his trail he had a swamp witch cast an illusion which made the chasing guards believe the pair had died in an explosion.
The two made their way aboard a freighter bound for Africa, but before making their way to the continent they were attacked by pirates. Prime was able to trick the pirates and kill them, and then had to kill the remaining crew and passengers so that word of their whereabouts did not make it back to the Sun House. Prime made the rest of the distance to Africa on his speeder, crossing the exhausting stretch of open water under a blazing sun.
Upon reaching Africa Prime was exhausted and half dead. Without taking proper care he and the boy took in water from a drugged stream and were taken captive by a local tribe. This tribe's leader remained loyal to the Kahn, and allowed Prime to pass unhindered. Making his way up through the mountains Prime would have to fight of another regiment of red devils and an African tribe whose loyalty he did not possess. At this point the secret of their faked deaths in Louisiana was uncovered for the world.
Prime and Assante next made their way through the OPEC wastelands towards the old Vatican. Prime was weakened by the residual radiation and the two were taken captive by a band of technology fearing mutants. They were narrowly saved by a band of rebels who remained loyal to the Kahn, however these rebels did not immediately believe Prime's story or trust him with the fate of the heir to the throne. During the confusion Jupiter was kidnapped by a group of vampires, and taken North. Prime and the rebels tracked the vampires through Siberia. They located Jupiter in an abandoned missile silo where Pellon Cross lived with his spawn. Prime and the rebels narrowly saved Jupiter from being fed to the corpulent vampire, and killed the remaining Vampires.
By this point the strain of ruling the world and tracking her children had taken its toll on Laurel Kennedy, and she was put on leave by her assistant, who took claim of the throne in her absence. Jupiter knew that this was not the time to reappear and remained in the wilderness with Prime and the rebels for the next ten years.
By the time that his plans were ready to be employed, Jupiter was a man and his underground resistance had grown. Moving back towards Colorado, Prime and the Rebels were able to take control over the Sun House. Using the parts within his own body, Prime harnessed the power of the Sun Disc to destroy the Sun Houses sole control over satellite based telecommunications worldwide. Jupiter who had infiltrated the Dakota house where his aging mother rested used their new control over worldwide communications to broadcast a message from the complex. A defeated Laurel admitted on a worldwide television broadcast that Jupiter was who he said, and that he was the rightful heir to the throne of Grendel Kahn.