In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales presents The Little Mermaid #1

A good mix of the classic tale with unexpected modern thrills. Perfect reading.

The covers: Half a dozen variations for you to catch and land in your collection. The A cover is by David Finch and Ivan Nunes. It’s the traditional shot of the title character sitting on a rock, adjusting her hair as a wave splashes behind her. Sexy, but not over the top. Beautiful coloring. The B is by Jason Metcalf and Stephen Schaffer with mermaid Erica surfacing. It’s a great shot of her, showing her in her element, and this, too, has excellent coloring. The sexy cover is the C by Mirka Andolfo, with Erica partially out of the water, with her arms on a ledge. Readers are looking at her from her back, so they can see her attractive back and tail–and I do mean her tail, as it’s splashing out of the water. Nicely done. The D has the same art as the A, but it’s a Super Rare Retailer incentive. What makes it different are the colors, again by Nunes. This scene is now twilight with the yellow-orange sun setting. Really well done. There is also an Ultra Rare Retailer Incentive cover, but I couldn’t find it online. And there’s a London Super Con Exclusive cover, but that just came up online today on Zenescope’s Facebook page. The art is by Jamie Tyndall and Ula Mos. It’s a wonderfully ornate Erica on some rocks before London Bridge. She looks exactly like a classic fantasy character, the detail on all the water drops splashing about her, and the details on the bridge fantastic. The coloring is incredibly bright. I’m envious of any Brit who gets their hands on this cover! Overall grades: A A, B A+, C A, D A, and London Super Con Exclusive A+

The story: This is my first introduction to this character and Joe Brusha’s story, written by Meredith Finch, is very easy to read and very entertaining. “Landlocked” opens twenty years in the past as Ms. Fisher is trying to speak with playboy Prince Fayed about bidding on his next construction project. The prince is more interested in partying, and that’s when a gigantic wave hits their ship throwing most of the passengers, including Fisher, into the sea. She wakes to find herself on a beach, with a man above her. She can barely see him because of the sun, and by the time she shields her eyes all she sees is a gigantic tail splash off. The scene then moves to the present, where Erica the mermaid is swimming underwater when something grabs her. The action is fairly tense as she struggles with her opponent. Pages 7 and 8 go in an absolutely welcome unexpected direction with how she must defeat this foe. With these pages alone, I want to learn more about Erica. And then Finch goes in another unexpected direction, showing readers that the previous four pages were not what they seemed. I like the tease of the characters on Page 10 and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them. The last half of the book focuses on Mr. Fisher, who is revealed to be the mother of Erica. She has a conversation with someone who says can help her find her lost daughter, but there’s a price and will require the assistance of someone else. Fisher had better hurry, because the issue ends with Erica in the worst possible situation. This was really enjoyable. It had just enough of the classic story to satisfy my preconceptions, but updated to make it mature and suspenseful. Overall grade: A

The art: Very impressive visuals on this book come from Miguel Mendonca. He’s got an excellent eye for both the male and female figure, and not just the ones that are perfect physical specimens, as proven by the gaggle of men on 10 and 11. I expected the Little Mermaid to be attractive, and she is, but she’s not the over the top bombshell that could have been drawn. She’s got a sweetness about her that I appreciated. However, she has another side shown on two pages and that has put her into a new perspective for me. The individual that Ms. Fisher speaks with in the last half of the book is quite the looker, and she does have many looks. Any reader will instantly recognize the trouble this character brings to the series, and the image at the bottom of 20 just confirms this danger. I liked the visual back and forth of this character’s image, as her mood dictated how she was seen. Very clever and very cool. The ending has Erica in the most classical form of peril, yet also the most terrifying. What’s excellent about the last page is nothing is done to her, but it’s the suggestion of what will occur over the next thirty days that creates the horror. Mr. Mendonca, I like what you’re doing. Overall grade: A

The colors: Ivan Nunes has become one of the top colorists in his field and his book shows why his work is the gold standard. The opening page is a beautiful shot of a ship at see on the most tranquil blues imaginable. The second panel on the second page has some amazing coloring work done on a champagne flute. It has a reflection from the sun, it contains the liquid, and it has a spiral pattern at its base. It’s an amazing detail that he’s added for a non-speaking character that will never be seen again. When Fisher goes overboard the colors darken as her danger increases. I like that the sound lettering on Page 3 is light blue, for the water environment, yet don’t fade into–or dominate–the art. They are an equal element because of the colors. The arrival of the character on 16 gives Nunes a lot of opportunity for some stunning skies. And that word describes Nunes’s work on this book the best–Stunning. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, sounds, and yells are done by Ghost Glyph Studios. The scene setting has a nice traditional fairy tale font that transitions readers between times, reminding them of the classical origin of this story. The sounds are exceptionally well done. I was really impressed with those on Page 3 and 8, with that last one being downright creepy! Overall grade: A

The final line: Okay, Zenescope, you got me again. I’ll be following this series until the end. A good mix of the classic tale with unexpected modern thrills. Perfect reading. Overall grade: A 

 

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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