In Review: Cinderella Serial Killer Princess #2

Is Zenescope allowed to do this in a book? My jaw dropped on so many pages. Recommended.

The covers: There are four different ways to look upon the title character in the second issue of this four part mini-series. The A cover is by Paolo Pantalena and Arif Prianto. This has Cindy atop a rocky plateau, with a sword in her right hand, while her left makes a fist. She smiles at the reader as crimson energy bursts from behind her and an unseen creature’s purple tentacles begin to grasp the ground beneath her. This is a super image, love the look on her face, and the coloring excellent, with that red background making her blonde hair, pale skin, and powder blue outfit stand out. The B cover is by Abhishek Malsumi, Zsolt H. Garisa, and Abhishek Singh, and it’s the most violent of the four. Shang is being raised high in the air as Cinderella raises her sword on which he’s impaled. He’s soon to die, but she doesn’t care, as she looks at the reader with smug satisfaction. Besides the characters looking good, the setting is well detailed, set in a corner office that sees the city fully rendered behind it. This is really well done. If one is looking for cheesecake, then one will want to get the C cover by Juan Carlos Ruiz. This has the title character sitting in an oversized glass slipper, peeling off her powder blue stockings. A giant red pillow holds the slipper steady as she begins to disrobe. Uh, yeah…this looks good. Really good. The final cover, the D, is set in a weapons locker, as evidenced by the many guns and hand grenades on the wall. Cinderella holds a knife in one hand and a grenade in the other as she tries to decide which would be more useful for next outing. Salvatore Cuffari and Leonardo Paciarotti, the interior artist and colorist of this issue, created this frontpiece and it’s disappointing. The character’s face seems rushed and the coloring makes the grenade in her hand difficult to make out; brighter coloring on the character would have helped. This Cinderella looks completely different from the one within this book, and this is by the same artists. Just disappointing. Overall grades: A A, B A-, C A+, and D C-

The story: Cinderella’s rampage on those close to Robyn Locksley continues, this time at Arcane Acre. As the title character muses about dreams, Wiglaf is shown beginning a workout on a treadmill. Just as Cindy finishes her ruminations, the firetruck she’s driving does “something”. Right out of the gate, my jaw dropped. This couldn’t be happening — Could it? Conceived by Joe Brusha and Dave Franchini, and written by Franchini, this story takes no prisoners as the title character takes on several well known characters that live in Arcane Acre, and it doesn’t go well for most of them. As the body count increases, Cindy shows herself to be a psychotic wise ass; for proof, take a look at what she does in the fifth panel on Page 3 — it’s gross, yet shows her character tremendously. Naturally, more people are going to confront her after what’s happened and her reaction to them at the bottom of the same page did make me laugh out loud, though I knew it was going to get violent. The battle is quick, violent, and more than takes a little from battles involving Lobo or Deadpool. Still, Cindy is Zenescope’s equivalent of those characters, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. Though she does babble as she’s fighting and killing, it’s her actions that really stuck in my mind: she shouldn’t have been able to do that on Pages 5, 10, 17, and 20. This couldn’t be happening. I mean, who’s going to be left in the Zenescope books? Not many, that’s for sure! During the carnage, there are flashbacks to Cindy’s dealings with Voodoo, with Pages 7 and 8 being fun. I enjoyed the first issue, but now I’m officially hooked and have to see how this plays out. Overall grade: A

The art: Even though the book states that Salvatore Cuffari is the sole artist for this book, it sure doesn’t look like it. There are three noticeable change in styles, and I can’t believe that it’s because there are three different colorists on this book. Cuffari’s work starts well. The character work is strong, with Cindy’s introduction on Page 3 great: she goes through several moods, two of which are textless, but every reader will know what she’s thinking in her warped little mind. There are a lot of characters on 4, but Cuffari does a great job with each one, keeping them detailed while the battle rages. The character that appears on 5 is stunningly rendered, and what happens to this character in the final panel had me go agape. Voodoo is also drawn very well, as is the character that confides in him about Cindy. 11 is a well drawn page, with the point of view moving about well and Cindy emoting some perfect sarcasm: her look added to the tone with which I heard her dialogue. However, this Cindy does not look the same as the Cinderella on the preceding pages. Starting on 13 a major action sequence begins. I really liked the way Cuffari rendered the pair of combatants for Cindy, though the title character does look more muscular on these pages than elsewhere in the book. I was impressed I was able to follow the action of this fight sequence so well since there’s a lot of movement. Page 20 was the shocking visual of the book. Can Zenescope do this? Well, they did! It was hard not to hear music from Kill Bill: Volume 1 looking at this page. The visuals on this were good, but not consistent. Overall grade: B

The colors: Three different colorists on this issue: Leonardo Paciarotti is responsible for Pages 1 – 10, Valentina Cuomo 12 – 20 & 22, and Ceci de la Cruz doing 11 & 21. Paciarotti’s work is the boldest of the issue: the colors explode off the page giving a very powerful feeling. Case in point, look at Pages 3 and 5. The latter is stunning with its bright colors and the contrast on the new character’s outfit. The sounds are also particularly strong, with Page 2 being an eye magnet. The work done on 11 by de la Cruz is fine, though must of the second panel is lost because the character on the right and the background are too similar in color. The colors also explode on Cuomo’s pages, with the characters fighting having some super shading done on their flesh. The energy that one character wields in crimson looks extremely powerful. The colors on this book are somewhat of a mixed bag, much like the artwork. Overall grade: B

The letters: Ghost Glyphs Stuidos’ ace Taylor Esposito is the letterer on this issue and he does a slam bang job. He creates, narration, yells, dialogue, sounds, a song, a character’s unique dialog font on 11, screams, and the tease for next issue. I am so incredibly pleased at all the sounds in this issue. They increase the horror of Cindy’s actions and punch up the visuals considerably. There’s also such a wide array of sounds in this issue: from SCHLOP to SHUNK and CLANG to HNGHH. And that two word exclamation that Cindy makes during her entrance on Page 2 is a killer! Outstanding work. Overall grade: A+ 

The final line: Is Zenescope allowed to do this in a book? My jaw dropped on so many pages. I was shocked, but couldn’t stop turning pages. I have to know how this ends! Recommended! Overall grade: A-

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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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