In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales #7

This is exactly what I want in a comic.

The covers: Summer is still going, so the variants keep on coming, with this issue of Grimm Fairy Tales having a whopping eleven to collect! The A is by Ediano Silva and Hedwin Zaldivar. This is a beautiful cover of Skye dressed as Snow White wearing a corset and garters, considering an apple she’s holding. If only she would look behind her, she would see that several ghostly hands are emerging from a mirror to grasp her. Great artwork and sensational colors, especially with the sunlight hitting her. Well done in every way. Skye is doing battle with Nataliya on the next cover. The protagonist is wielding her sword to deflect the energy that the sorceress is projecting from a crystal ball she holds. Good poses on both characters, with Skye looking the stronger because Nataliya’s face is too calm given the situation. The colors are well done, with a nice split in the background allowing each character to pop. Good job on this B cover by Jose Luis and Grostieta. The C is the cover I chose to accompany this review and it’s by Mike Krome. This features a haughty looking Nataliya in full figure profile, slightly turned to the reader. She has a hand on her hip, while the other holds one of her crystal balls. I love her face and that she’s more full figured than how she’s normally illustrated in other books. This should be a print. Skye is looking ready for whatever danger faces her in this dark forest. A threat is again behind her, with several creatures’ yellow eyes scrutinizing her. This D cover is by Andrea Errico and it’s not great. The point of view is looking up at the character, which is good, but this illustration is not detailed. It reminds me of interior artwork from a comic book from the 80s. Even the limbs of the trees are loosely rendered. The San Diego Comic Con Best of Zenescope Exclusive (limited to 200) is by Jamie Tyndall with colors by Sanju Nivangune. I couldn’t find an image of this one online, so good luck tracking it down, collectors! The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (limited to 250/100) is by Keith Garvey. This features Skye with a blonde friend posed outside the famous Sand Diego Zoo. Each is wearing a miniskirt and top, along with ears. Sky is dressed in a leopard print and the other woman is a fox. I could only find a cover for the edition limited to 250 copies, so I’m assuming the one with the lesser count features an adult turn on this image. Nicely done by Mr. Garvey. The Cosplay Exclusive (limited to 350) is by Ale Garza and Ula Mos. This has Skye straddling some architecture with the San Diego skyline behind her. She’s wearing blue bikini briefs and a white half shirt that features an image that mixes Iron Fist and Spider-Man’s logo. She looks cute, but there’s not much cosplay in this. The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Special Edition (limited to 100) is also by Garza and Mos. This features Skye in the same pose, against the same background, though now it’s become evening. She’s wearing a swimsuit that looks as if its composed of spider webs. Very cute. The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (limited to 50) is also by Garza and Mos. I couldn’t find an image of this online, so good luck, again, collectors! The Clockwork Comics Exclusive (limited to 350) is by Paul Green and Ula Mos. This is a beautiful cover with Skye dressed as one of the droogs from A Clockwork Orange. Very cool and worth the time to find! Overall grades: A A+, B B+, C A, D C-, SDCC Exclusive (250) A-, Cosplay Exclusive B+, SDCC Special Edition A, and Clockwork Comics Exclusive A

The story: A fair has set up for business in Joppatowne, Maryland. Jackie White leaves the company of her friends when she hears a voice calling her name. She goes into a fortune teller’s tent, when the ancient occupant asks if she’d like to see some magic. The young woman is transported to a forest, now dressed in the familiar clothes of Snow White. Curious animals surround her and all seems fine until a slash sounds behind her. A monstrous bear has ripped open the throat of a buck. It has glowing orange eyes and is surrounded by seven evil dwarves. “You are in Hell, Jackie White…” says the bear. The story moves to Arcane Acre where Skye has a brief interaction with a classmate before investigating White’s disappearance, as she was to attend the school. Joe Brusha does much in this issue: introduces a new character, introduces a threat, gets Skye involved, has an appearance by a villain that’s been running around several Zenescope titles, features a solid battle, gives the heroine a warning, and introduces yet another long term villain. WHEW! You’d think that that with all this going on, the story would be a jumble, but it’s not. Brusha’s got a firm lock on how these characters work and they go through all the actions and heroics one would expect of a Zenescope star. Highlights included Skye’s thoughts before entering the fair, her reactions to the creatures trying to do her harm, the reveal at the bottom of Page 19, and the final two pages. The story is fast paced, fun, and incredibly enjoyable. Overall grade: A

The art: There are two artists on this issue, Julius Abrera and Dheeraj Verma, and both do an excellent job on this issue. Jackie’s design has her looking like any teen one would see passing by, though she’s got an attitude to her that sets her apart from her friends. The fortune teller’s first appearance is appropriately creepy. The transition between Pages 2 and 3 is neat with Jackie’s face at the same angle, though her clothes and setting change dramatically. The full-paged splash on 4 is dramatic, with the bear looking fierce and the dwarves demonic. Page 9 is gorgeous — That’s how to do a character reveal! I love everything about that. When Skye transforms on 10 there’s a neat smoke effect done around to give a good visual to the reader for what’s occurring. The action on 12 is great, with that second panel looking really cool. There is a lot of action on 14 and 15 and the artist, whoever it is, does a terrific job in choreographing the characters’ movement to make it easy to follow and very exciting. The partial double-paged spread on 16 and 17 is also good, and though there’s no sound effect on this page, one will go through the reader’s head because the visual is so strong. The final two pages tease two characters and a new environment. Based on what’s shown, I want to see more of all as soon as possible. Overall grade: A

The colors: Jorge Cortes does a good job on this book’s colors. I appreciate that he’s able to create dark settings with his colors, but still allow all details of the artwork to be seen. This may be a simple thing, but it’s not done often enough or is done poorly. Cortes does a good job for all the dark locations. Notice how colors allow Jackie to show up at the bottom of the first page; her rebellious nature is instantly shown with a wonderful purple streak in her hair. The colors go classical when she wears the traditional Snow White clothes, which make the splash of crimson at the bottom of Page 3 more startling. The reveal on 9  looks great with the clothing really outstanding, and the highlights being particularly strong. The action that follows has Skye standing out in every panel she’s in, regardless of how dark it is. When energy comes out of her sword, it’s incredibly vibrant. Cortes is aces on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, narration, dialogue, sounds, ancient chants, and the tease for next issue are created by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. The scene settings are exciting, in a bold font that’s atop a decorative transparent line (Plus big bonus points from the English teacher in me for using lower case letters — a rarity in comics!). The sounds are really strong, and I wish that there had been more of them in the last four pages of the battle. My strongest praise goes to the spell cast in this issue, comprised of an indecipherable font. That little touch makes the magic more believable. Overall grade: A

The final line: Classic fairy tales are twisted into adventures that will keep you entertained with every page. This issue introduces a new character who has a future at Arcane Acre, while villainous sorcerers continue plague Skye. This is exactly what I want in a comic. Overall grade: A 

To purchase a print copy go to https://shop.zenescope.com/collections/new-releases/products/grimm-fairy-tales-vol-2-7

To purchase a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Grimm-Fairy-Tales-2016-7/digital-comic/516928?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC9pdGVtU2xpZGVy

To see some of 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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