In Review: Cinderella Serial Killer Princess #4

Cindy's murderous spree comes to a close with a surprise and newfound motivation.

The covers: The first of five covers is the A, which is illustrated by Richard Ortiz and colored by Ylenia Di Napoli. Cindy sits atop a pile of bodies that she’s responsible for killing. She looks solemnly at the reader with both of her blades open at her waist, each covered in blood. Like an unholy god, light shines down upon her to show the glory of her figure after the kill. Good illustration that sums up what this issue, and this entire series, has been about. The coloring was much brighter on the physical copy than any images I’ve seen online, so Di Napoli is to be congratulated on her colors. The B by Fritz Casas and Victor Bartlett is an action cover that picks up where last issue ended: Robyn going at Cinderella. Robyn is using an arrow like a dagger, while Cindy leaps in the air to take a swing with one of her blades. Excellent cover, though it seems as though Casas thought there would be more text on it, as there is a lot of empty space around the credits. Still, it does look really good. Next is the C, which is the image I chose to accompany this review. Striding confidently forward, Cinderella pulls one of her swords from the scabbard on her back, to partner with the one she’s already drawn. Behind her is a blasphemous altar, covered with candles, while on the floor are more candles, a skull, and some type of archaic symbols. She looks terrific, both beautiful and frightening. Excellent job in every way from Anthony Spay and Ceci de la Cruz. On the D cover things aren’t going well for the title character. She’s on the ground, seemingly unconscious, with her back arched upwards due a spell from Voodoo’s female sidekick, whose name I can’t remember. A snake is around the spellcaster completing the expected shaman image for this type of character. The cover is fine, but I want to see Cindy as the focus on the cover, not someone else. This is an okay job by Antonio Bifulco and Jorge Cortes. The one that fans will want to track down is the In-Store Exclusive cover is by Paul Green with colors by Ula Mos. This has a very seductive Cindy sitting on a grey rock in her traditional blue next-to-nothings. Her come hither look is merely a ruse to lure the reader in closer so that she may use the sword that is barely noticeable in her left hand. One can never go wrong with a cover by Green and Mos. Overall grades: A A-, B B-, C A, D C+, and In-Store Exclusive A+

The story: This concluding chapter to this mini-series, “Golden-Eyed Cyclops”, conceived by Joe Brusha and Dave Franchini, and written by the latter, begins where the last ended — Robyn Locksley has finally arrived on the scene to challenge this princess gone amok. Cinderella teases the hero by saying, “Your friends say hi. Marian and Sam were sad you missed movie night.” The gut punch to this dialogue is that she’s killed Robyn’s friends. This is exactly the thing to say to trigger the one eyed character, who leaps at the villain. Naturally, Cindy continues to mock and tease Robyn as they fight, causing Locksley to say “…go ahead, keep talking. See how much you’re laughing when I put an arrow through your eye.” Cinderella swings her sword, Robyn shoots some arrows, and things become complicated when the wrist portal on the title character activates and the pair jump through three realms of the Zenescope Universe, swinging and punching one another as denizens watch or die. I was pleased to see the characters on Page 11, as that’s one of my favorite Zenescope titles. There’s a dramatic turn on 15 and the battle ends on 17, with an expected action. The big reveal of the book is what’s been going on; after all, Zenescope couldn’t really have all their characters, from all of their titles, killed by Cindy. There has to be a reason why all this happened. It is a justifiable reason, but it may come off as a cheat to some readers. It didn’t bother me, since the carnage of the first issue (and all the death that followed in other books) couldn’t really have occurred. Without spoiling things, they did occur, from a certain point of view (Hey, it worked for Obi-Wan!), and actually does provide a slight change in Cindy’s character. She now has a new mission and motivation. A satisfactory conclusion for fans of the character. Overall grade: A-

The art: Four artists on this issue and it’s noticeable. Fritz Casas is responsible for Pages 1 – 10, Eduardo Garcia for 11, Marc Rosete for 14 – 18, and Salvatore Cuffari does 12, 13, and 19 – 22. Casas gets to illustrate the initiating battle between Robyn and Cindy as well as their journey to the first realm world. If one hasn’t read the previous issue, the first two panels will have no meaning on the reader. The first image of Cinderella at the bottom of Page 1 is fine, but it doesn’t need to be so off center; doing so only shows off a lack of background. The double-paged spread is nicely done on 2 and 4, with the small panels that show both characters’ faces also well done. The computer blur is completely unnecessary; again, drawing attention to the lack of backgrounds. In 5’s final two panels it’s difficult to see what has lodged in Cindy’s wrist portal; it looks as though it’s still in flight — it needed to be further into the device. Cindy’s eyes are really big in the first panel on 7. 8 and 9 look great with the action easy to follow and very dramatic. The third and fourth panels on 10 are difficult to follow. Though only one page, Garcia does a good job on the characters and the setting. I’d be more than welcome to see Garcia do an entire book. When Cuffari takes over the art chores on 12 and 13 it’s obvious. The characters are more consistently drawn and the action is more fluid. Rosete’s turn begins on 14 and he gets to draw the gory portions of the battle. He does exceedingly well with these elements, with 15 and 17 being standouts. Both characters’ faces are a little longer than previously shown in this issue, and wouldn’t have been noticeable had he been the sole artist on this issue. The death blow on 16 is outstanding, and serves as the perfect visual climax of the issue. Reality peals away on 17, and it looks good as it continues on to 18. The final four pages are by Casas who closes out the book’s illustrations. 19 – 21 look terrific, with the villains looking outstanding. However, the final page’s Cinderella looks nothing like the same character from the previous pages. It almost looks as if a different artist took over. Had just one of these artists drawn the entire issue, the book would be better, but this conglomeration comes off very mixed. Overall grade: B

The colors: Leonardo Paciarotti does an excellent job on every page of this book. The first seven pages have no backgrounds, so it falls upon Paciarotti to use colors to make the characters pop out, and he does so very well. The second and third pages are on a violet background that allows the characters to receive the focus due to the colors closest to the characters are the lightest, drawing the reader in. The close up of the opposing characters in profile stand out due to the backgrounds being in black. Sounds are given some bright colors to make them stand out and the portal is a wonderful creation of blue and white. The setting on 8 and 9 is glorious in peach, instantly creating heat. The setting of Cinderella and Robyn’s final battle is composed of cool blues to make the action cold and final, though when action does occur the colors go shockingly crimson. The cool blues are carried over to the final setting of the book, allowing the reader to smoothly transition to this location and keeping the mood dark. This is good work. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue, sounds, editorial notes, yells, an individual’s unique speech, and the final two words are created by Ghost Glyph Studios’ Taylor Esposito. The variety of yells that Esposito creates is impressive. Rather than have just one type of yell, there are several that show the emphasis behind each bellow. For example, Robyn gives an impassioned yell on Page 3, but Cindy gives a stronger one on 4, followed immediately be a greater one from the hero. The loudest outburst is on 17 and, given what this character is seeing, it should be strongest of the book. Esposito can always be counted on to do the correct font. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Cindy’s murderous spree comes to a close with a surprise and newfound motivation. Sure to please fans of the psychopathic princess. Overall grade: A-

To order a print copy go to https://shop.zenescope.com/products/cinderella-serial-killer-princess-4

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Cinderella-Serial-Killer-Princess-4/digital-comic/471645?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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