The Gronk is a character from the Starlord and 2000 AD strip Strontium Dog. Gronks are a timid life-form from the planet Blas in the Gallego system. Mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha first encountered and befriended a Gronk, later named as Gloppus, fairly early in his career, on the astro-liner Sondheim. The creature promptly keeled over and died of a heart attack caused by the shock of being hijacked by space pirate Papa Por-Ka. Alpha's partner, Wulf Sternhammer, took the Gronk's pelt to wear, in deference to the traditions of the Gronk's home planet.
Shortly afterwards, on the planet Paprika (a windswept outpost on the far reaches of the galaxy) Alpha and Sternhammer met another Gronk masquerading as a female human fortune teller called Madame Desiré. This Gronk recognized Wulf's pelt as having belonged to his brother. (All Gronks are identical — to the casual non-Gronk observer, anyway — and apparently have no names, although the second Gronk said that his brother had been called Gloppus. A nickname, perhaps?) The Gronk insisted on joining Alpha and Sternhammer in their adventures as their medic, despite the perils of such an occupation and the tendency of Gronks to suffer heart failure at the slightest sign of excitement.
Eventually, when Johnny Alpha's father Nelson Bunker Kreelman took over the Strontium Dog's orbital HQ, the Doghouse, in order to seek revenge on his son, the Gronk suffered several near fatal heart attacks after discovering his plans. He did, however, manage to free Alpha from his father's torture machine. Following this, the Gronk ceased to accompany Alpha and Sternhammer on missions and, indeed, it was assumed by many that he had died.
According to one account which may or may not be true, following the destruction of the Doghouse and Johnny Alpha's apparent death, the Gronk suffered another heart attack which resulted in a hitherto unsuspected aggressive and fearless side to his nature coming to the fore, and he took up Johnny's badge and, alongside the mutant Feral Jackson, travelled to the homeworld of the Lyran sorcerers in order to release Johnny's soul. In an emotional scene, the Gronk seemingly killed his friend again in order to free him from everlasting torment — a fate worse than death — before declaring of the Lyrans that "nobody gets out of here alives", and apparently destroying them all. NB: This story may be apocryphal. Since new information concerning Alpha's fate has since come to light, it's probably best to regard the entire 'savage Gronk' storyline as not canon.
Powers and abilities
AbilitiesSome Gronks can re-start their hearts after hours of apparent death. Also, Gronks can eat metal, including locks. This comes in handy.
Strength levelAs one disgusted observer put it, "that thing doesn't look like it could fight its way out of a bowl of custard" (Starlord #21).
Gronks have very weak hearts.
EquipmentMedical kit containing various salves and unguents which apparently 'smell like garbage', but which are almost miraculously effective.
TransportationWhatever Johnny and Wulf were using (e.g. morks, various spaceships, etc).
Nope. Not his style.
The Gronk's home planet of Blas in the Gallego system is named in honour of fantasy artist Blas Gallego.
- Gronkses has a distinctive speeches patterns, and are frequently to be found lamenting "Oh, my poor heartses!" if startled.
- According to the Chambers Dictionary (10th edition), sibilate (transitive and intransitive verb) means "to pronounce (words) with, or produce, a hissing sound."
- Gronks speak through their noses because their mouths are in their stomachs. They have four arms, each ending in two digits (which can't be described as being part of a hand because there is no palm).
- A minor character utters the words, "Getting out of here faster'n a scared Gronk" in Mind Wars in Starlord #9.
- In the episode of Strontium Dog in 2000 AD prog 1924 a small child on a spaceship was shown clutching a cuddly toy Gronk. This came in handy because the toy Gronk contained a camera which recorded the Stix Brothers when they slaughtered everyone on board. It also counts as Wagner and Ezquerra sticking two fingers up at the whole 'savage Gronk' storyline. (See also: the ultimate fate of Feral Jackson.) Johnny Alpha kept the toy Gronk. Awww...
- Toy Gronks also featured in 'Muggo's Moon', an episode of Ace Trucking Co. published in 2000 AD prog 2061. They were cheap poor-quality merchandise, but this was a good thing because it meant that Ace Garp and his pals could use their shoddiness to destabilise a warp hole that was sucking the Christmas spirit away from Christmas Moon.
- Appearances of Gronk
- Character Gallery: Gronk
- Images that feature Gronk
- Fan-Art Gallery: Gronk
- Gronk quotations
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