In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales #2

An enjoyable story with sensational art. Recommended.

The covers: Four covers to track down for this issue and they all follow the same theme: winter. The A cover is by Drew Edward Johnson and Ceci de la Cruz. This is a good image of Skye walking in a wintry forest. She’s holding her sword in her right hand and she’s conjuring some nice flame from her left. The look on her face shows her to be cheesed off about something, making me glad I’m not the one who put her in that mood. She looks good and so does the setting. I didn’t notice the little creature in the bottom right — very cool! Excellent use of colors to create cool mists on this. Jose Luis and Sanju Nivangune have created the B cover. Skye is battling the snow monster on this issue. This is an actual scene from within the issue, which is always neat to see on a cover. I like how it shows both characters in action, with their sizes and abilities on display. I also like how the colors on this are really bright in the center for the energy blast, which allows the reader to focus there first, acknowledging the power of the heroine. The C is by Allan Otero and Cruz, with the Snow Queen, the issue’s villain, taking center stage. She looks exceptional, with a three-quarters view of her in the background. I love when the focus is on the villain and this was my favorite of the covers and the one I chose to accompany this review. The final cover is the D by Antonio Bifulco and Hedwin Zaldivar. This is another version of the Snow Queen, but she’s too far from the reader and is too regal. I like my villains to look evil and she could be going Elsa for all I know from this. The coloring helps, but the illustration is at a disadvantage for me. Overall grades: A A, B A-, C A+, and D C+ 

The story: Lance and Skye are driving in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. They both need study breaks from Arcane Acre. Lance asks her how her week has gone and she tells him about the events from last issue. She feels like her magical book is taking over her life, and she has a flashback to Shang asking her how the werewolf from last month was sucked into the book. He tells her that her powers are connected to the Shadowlands and not much is known about that place. The other person that appeared during her battle is revealed by Shang to be Judgment. “He is part of a very powerful and ancient enemy of the realms. They are called The Order of the Tarot…” With a new antagonist and his minions now named, writer Joe Brusha returns to Pennsylvania where the Snow Queen has returned to Earth. The two young heroes stumble to her presence and a battle breaks out. I liked that the villain didn’t initially fight the pair, instead creating a minion — okay, a giant — to battle them. Lance’s power seemed as if it would be useless in this tussle, but he contributed smartly. How the Snow Queen is defeated is cool and provides a nice tease for what’s going to happen next issue. The penultimate page puts a good coda to the tale, with the final being a great hook for the next installment. This was a fun read. Overall grade: A 

The art: The visuals on this book look amazing. The first page consists of Skye and Lance driving down a road. There’s absolutely no reason why this should look great, because it contains a non-exciting premise for the characters, but it looks great. The setting is beautiful, the car looks amazing, and the characters look sharp. And this is consistent throughout the book. Ediano Silva is amazing. The large panel on Page 2 is a great reminder of what happened previously. The second panel on the following page has some incredible cloud work that resembles an expensive transition scene from a motion picture. The city that is snowed in looks great on every page and in every panel; even the long shots, such as on 6 which is incredibly detailed. The full paged splash that reveals the Snow Queen is magnificent for the incredible details in her clothes and hair, but look at all the magic happening around her. This is some terrific work by Silva. All of those frosty swirls about her announces who she is before she states her name. It’s excellent. The creation of the Snow Monster is great and it’s design is very cool. Its many different appearances on 11 are creepy and beautiful, and they provide a great lead in to what occurs on 12. Lance’s contributions look sensational. I’ve never really been impressed with his abilities before in other books, but now I can understand why he’s considered a force! The nameless individual that appears on 18 has a spectacular entrance and I love how he’s not seen from the front at all; it drew me in deeper to the story and the visuals. The final page is gorgeously grotesque. Silva is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Making the art look even better are the colors by Jorge Cortes and Grostieta. The colors used on the opening page are so warm and full of life, providing a great turnabout later in the issue. The colors in the large panel on Page 2 are really dark, but every element of the art can be clearly seen. When the snow overtakes the town, things go white, but this isn’t a blanket of white, it’s a beautifully shaded combination of white, gray, and blue: it’s perfection. Such a white environment allows Skye to stand out in all of her panels with her crimson colored corset. The light violet used for Skye’s magical creations also stand out sensationally in the cold setting. The last page has my favorite coloring, with yellow and orange on black and white being startling. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, the story’s title, the book’s credits, a yell, a very distinctive font for the dialogue for the unknown character that appears on 18, and the tease for next issue are created by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. Esposito is a letterer whose work stood out in other Zenescope books and he continues to shine on this title. His scene settings are dynamic, transporting a reader instantly. The story’s title and the book’s credits are very sharp, though I wish they had been larger. I really liked the yell that Skye has for Lance on 6; it carried a lot of strength in its visual. I know when I see Esposito’s name on a book, the text is going to look great. Overall grade: A

The final line: Another good issue in this relaunch. More of Skye’s abilities are shown in this issue and I can’t wait to see her in action again. An enjoyable story with sensational art. Recommended. This is a Zenescope book for everyone. 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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