I can't esc to Grub or anything. I simply get a black screen with one single '_' at the upper left hand corner of the screen.

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Might have to flash your motherboards firmware, or possible storage issue. What are the system specs? What were you doing prior to the system crash? You may have to re-install your os on a separate partition after your bios recognizes your configuration, did you try running an ubuntu 18.04 usb repair disk utility? I recommend you take a look at these articles https://linuxhint.com/rufus_bootable_usb_install_ubuntu_18-04_lts/ and https://www.fosslinux.com/1521/boot-repair-for-ubuntu-linux-mint-and-elementary-os-can-fix-bootloader-issues.htm

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