In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales #22

Great fun to read!

The covers: Nine covers to drive completists insane. The A features the work of Netho Diaz and Ivan Nunes. Skye powerfully raises a sword above her head. She yells in triumph as the waters of a lake cascade against the rock she’s on. She looks terrific and the colors are excellent. Having the sword before the logo of the book is a really cool choice. The B by Igor Vitorino and Ceci de la Cruz is also a strong image of Skye. The heroine swings her sword against creatures made of water. She looks ferocious and the water looks incredible. The colors on her have her instantly grab the reader’s attention and the work on the water creatures is incredible. I’m always impressed when an artist or colorist does an exceptional job with this element, and this cover features both doing incredibly well. Water is also featured predominantly on the C frontpiece by Mike Krome. This has the Lady of the Lake emerging from the water. She’s not wearing anything — Why would she? — and she’s up to the waist in the water and her chest is covered by her long hair. She’s very blue, almost matching the liquid, but still pink enough to be taken for human. The background is also really well done, with the fog neat. This definitely qualifies as the “Good Girl” cover for this book. Skye is in trouble on the D cover by Sheldon Goh and Sanju Nivangune. She’s underwater, reaching for a sword whose blade is buried in the ground. Skye is trying to reach it before the hulking silhouette with red eyes grabs her. The weapon’s details are good, Skye looks great, the bubbles make things look frantic, and the colors are incredibly bold. I really like the vibrant blue water. There are several other covers, but I couldn’t find images of them online. They include the Kickstarter Exclusive by Jason Cardy, the Kickstarter Blank Sketch Edition, the Secret Exclusive by Sun Khamunaki, and the Zenescope Wraparound Exclusive (limited to 750) by Geebo Vigonte and Nunes. I was able to find the Cosplay Exclusive (limited to 350 copies) by Sabine Rich. This is a slick cover featuring Robyn Locksley dressed in a costume similar to Jean Grey when she was Phoenix. She’s standing in a metal plated room that could create some “danger” and the circular door on the left has a giant Z on it for Zenescope. Very cool and definitely one to look for. Overall grades: A A, B A+, C +, D A-, and Cosplay Exclusive A+

The story: Joe Brusha continues to pack a lot into this series without shorting any character. The book opens in Camelot as Skye is transported there by the assassin Zodiac. Upon their arrival a green gem in the killer begins to spark and comes out of his chest. He tells her, “Run away and you might live a little longer,” but she’s not going to do that. “I’m more of a fighter. Some say I get that from my mom…” She pulls his chest plate off and the pair are blasted backwards. Looking up, she spies Merlin and decides that running away would be the wiser decision. The story then moves to elsewhere where the Black Knight and Puck are at the barrier that surrounds Camelot. They realize that only a transporting skill can get them out, but neither of them have that ability. After a moment Puck gets an idea, though he can’t act on it because something’s coming. And it’s something really big. I was glad to see this opponent back in the book. Adding to the pair’s woes is the arrival of a new team of villains. One of these foes is named Knightshade and he reveals what he’s capable of. His ability is cool and would be successful if one of the heroes didn’t have a way to stop him in his tracks. Merlin, Zodiac, and Morgan le Fay have a quick meeting, before Brusha returns to Skye who meets the Lady of the Lake, and that’s no spoiler as she’s on one of the covers. If one is familiar with this mythical character an assumption could be made of what’s going to occur. I won’t spoil it, but what does happen is very cool. Why this happens is explained well and fits in perfectly with Skye and her family’s history. Overall grade: A

The art: Lucas Meyer’s art is good. I like that he’s able to move the point of view around often to further the story. For example, the opening page shows the stone pillars that held Merlin’s attention in the last issue. This then pulls in tightly to the center of the stones to show an energy bubble appearing. The final panel shows Skye’s arrival, but Meyer does it from a forty-five degree angle, which makes her reveal much more exciting looking than if the panel was level. The second page uses triangle shaped panels to have Zodiac appear. Having the panels in these shapes allows him to put focus on key elements of the character and have some speed lines increase the rapid movements of the character. When Skye goes into action on Page 3 she looks great, starting with a strong kick. Her exit at the bottom of page has her speeding off neatly. The Black Knight and Puck look good when they appear, too, but it’s the arrival of something that appears on 5 that looks stellar. The size of this thing and its construction is awesome. The skirmish that follows is really well done, with all the characters moving extremely fluidly. Merlin is looking a little older in this issue than he has in previous appearances in this and other books. This is fine, but now I’m wondering if his use of magic is aging him. The character that Skye encounters in the wood looks terrific. The water effects are excellent. The details on 16 and 17 are impressive, with those creatures looking really cool. The full-paged splash is a strong image, resembling the moment shown on the A cover. The full-paged splash on Page 22 is a good surprise, showing a character that hasn’t appeared in this series. He’s not named in the text, but for those following the Zenescope line, he’ll be familiar. I would welcome Meyer back anytime to illustrate this or other Zenescope books. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Increasing the visuals are the colors by Jorge Cortes. The blues that open the book are strong, and when combined with the white, look powerful. Skye’s costume is really bright and I prefer to see it like this. The sounds that first appear on 2 and 3, and several more later in the book, pop off the page for being outlined in bright colors. The work on characters’ flesh throughout look awesome, with Cortes giving the them an increased depth. The barrier that surrounds Camelot has got a really cool reflective surface due to Cortes’s work. Blues are the real stand out colors of the issue due to the many varieties needed to tell this tale. I like how the character that Skye encounters in the woods has got a slight blue tone to her skin, while her eyes and lips are a frosty azure. Overall grade: A

The letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios is a master of text and he delivers another exemplary job with this book. He creates scene settings, narration, sounds, dialogue, yells, and the tease for next issue. Esposito’s letters are always easy to read and his sounds are some of the best in the business. Take a look at those used during Skye and Zodiac’s tussle and you can’t deny that the FWOOSH in the book looks great. Overall grade: A

The final line: This series continues to reach epic heights with the Camelot saga. Skye looks for an important object, the Black Knight and Puck are in action, Merlin continues to scheme, and the reassembled Knights of the Round Table continue to do harm upon all they encounter. My only complaint is that this is only 22 pages. Great fun to read. 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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