In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales 2017 Swimsuit Special

For the hard core Zenescope fan only.

The covers: Five to find if one would like to see some of Zenescope’s finest females. The A cover is by Alfredo Reyes and Ylenia Di Napoli. Skylar is in the spotlight on the beach. She’s on the ground, upright on a hip, with one hand and her sword supporting her. She looks fine, but the background is really impressive. For me, her head looks too small for her body. The B is by Renato Rei and Ceci de la Cruz with the Snow Queen kneeling on a beach. She looks good and the background is, again, stunning. I’m surprised she’s not melting on the beach. Jason Cardy provides the C cover and it’s the image I chose to accompany this review. This image is looking down upon Mary Medina as Mystere. What there is of her swimsuit looks like a skull. She’s holding a glowing neon pentagram in her left hand, as she brushes back her hair with her right. And she’s standing in a pentagram on the beach that has torches at each point. Yes! The San Diego Comic Con Postcard Exclusive (limited to 250 copies) shows Robyn up to her knees in the water in a reflective green bikini. In the back left is a pier. The words Sand Diego California are at the bottom in a pastel blue. This looks great, with Mike Krome and Ula Mos succeeding strongly on this. The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (limited to 75 copies) features the same art, but different coloring from Mos. This is at dusk, with the sky as blue as the waters. Plus, Robyn is topless. Not for the kiddies! Overall grades: A B-, B A-, C A, San Diego Comic Con Postcard Exclusive A-, and Sand Diego Comic Con Exclusive A- 

The story: The Jumeirah Beach at Dubai is the setting at the start of this issue, with a woman asking her boyfriend to take her picture with her in the water. As she wades in, he disappears. When she returns to where he was, she discovers a smoking crater in the sand. She screams and the scene moves to Arcane Acre where Skye is asking Jasmine if she doesn’t want to accompany her and Shang to the beach. Jasmine says she’ll pass, “I was trapped in a bottle in a desert, for centuries, it doesn’t necessarily bring pleasant thoughts.” Suddenly the book appears before Skye, who looks at its pages and is transported to the beach from the beginning. It’s deserted. There are umbrellas, baseball hats, and the typical beach toys, but they’re all covered in blood. “This can’t be good,” she says to herself. Some sounds occur to her side and transforms into her fighting gear just in time to take out something. This story was conceived by Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, and Dave Franchini, with the latter writing the issue. This ten page story is really quick, with Skye fighting two very different foes, the minions and the master. Before one knows it, the story is over and things end on a humorous note. I was hoping the story would go for at least twenty pages, but this issue is intended to show pin-ups and not deliver a full Mathers story. It’s decent, but too short. Overall grade: B-

The art: Matching the quick story are the visuals by Moy R. Only the opening panel sets this story in Dubai, otherwise it could be a beach set anywhere. The couple on the opening pages is good, though the perspective on the woman is really off in the first panel, because she slims considerably in every panel afterwards. Page 2 is solid, with the reaction from the woman and the smoking crater great. Jasmine and Shang steal the show on Page 3, with Shang’s choice of attire worth picking up the issue alone. The minions that attack Skye are terrific, leaving me wanting to see more of them, but the story doesn’t use them enough. The second panel on 5 is outstanding. The master’s reveal on 6 is good, with him looking super in the full-paged splash on 7: the layout is good, the perspective good, and the antagonist outstanding. There’s a lot of action accomplished on 8, with Skye’s final panel on the page looking slick. The villain’s last full appearance is really good, but it’s the final two panels of the story that are the strongest, with Skye’s posture in silhouette and Shang’s confusion in the final panel. Moy can capture emotion well and I’d be more than welcome to see him penciling an entire issue for Zenescope. Overall grade: B+

The colors: This is a very bright book, which is how it should be for a beach locale. Leonardo Paciarotti starts the heat with strong yellows and oranges on the first page, with that last color going almost red for the woman’s hair. Shang’s shirt colors increase the humor of his presence continually. The reds that transport Skye are good, and they reappear when she changes into fighting mode. The minions that attack are wonderful in an appropriately sick yellow. The bottom of Page 6 has Skye in the shadow of the villain and it’s an excellent example of Paciarotti’s skills. The reds and yellows on 8 and 9 are great, matching the action of the story, and the blues in the villain’s last appearance are cool and fun. A very good job from Paciarotti. Overall grade: A

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, yells, sounds, an editorial note, and the closing two words are crafted by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. For such a short tale, Esposito does a great job on the scene settings and sounds, with the SLICEs being my favorites. However, the two words that end the tale are extremely elegant. Overall grade: A

The pin-ups: There are twenty-eight pin-ups, full-paged splashes, drawn by different artists and colored by different colorists. Some are better than others, as to be expected for a collection, with some appearing to be try out work. The best include those of Robyn Locksley and Liesel Van Helsing. What’s nice about this type of collection is there’s something for every fan of Zenescope’s female fighters, so if you can name a character, it’s safe to say she’s here. However, I thought most of these were just average. Overall grade: C

The final line: The story could have gone longer, but this is a pin-up collection. The pin-ups feature practically every female fury in Zenescope’s line, so there is something for everyone here. The images range from good to average, so the price does seem a little steep for this quality. Truly for the hard core Zenescope fan only. Overall grade: C+

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Grimm-Fairy-Tales-2017-Swimsuit-Edition/digital-comic/535255?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC9pdGVtU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

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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