In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales #27

Skye seeks another piece of weaponry to aid her quest, but has some major obstacles to overcome.

The covers: This issue has nine different covers for fans to find with one that’s sure to be “just right.” The A cover is by Igor Vitorino and Hedwin Zaldivar and has an intense Skye in the reader’s face swinging her sword at two bears emerging from both sides of the cover. In the background is a mountain peak with a woman riding a bear as lightning erupts behind her. Great illustration of Skye and the action is very cool. The coloring is sensational on this, with the pink of her weapon and the violet of the background. Love this! The next cover is a completely unexpected location: under the big top! Skye has a staff in her hand that she hold up in a defensive pose against an unseen foe. Behind her is the interior of a empty circus tent and it looks amazing. The heroine looks good, but this setting is stunning, with the colors exceptional, especially those lights. This B cover was created by Harvey Tolibao and Ivan Nunes. The C by Michael Dooney and Ula Mos shows who the villain is of this issue — Goldilocks! She’s wearing a top hat, leather wrist guards, a very low cut corset in yellow and blue, rubber panties in blue with yellow lace and a bow, and black stockings complimented by yellow bows. Behind her is one of her obedient bears that has red eyes. In the background is a blue sky with a massive cloud and a quaint little house in some green rolling hills. Great looking! Sheldon Goh and Sanju Nivangune have created the D cover that shows the maze of this issue’s story, “Maze Run.” Skye is running as fast as she can, though she looks over her right shoulder to see if the creature that’s after her in this brick maze is any closer. The beast is just turning a corner to continue its pursuit. It reminds me of the Violator from Spawn. I really like Skye on this, with her and her costume looking supreme, but the maze walls and the creature after her look blurry. I don’t know if this was done on purpose, but it looks like a printing error. I’m not a fan of using computer technology to blur an image to create speed. There are five other covers, but I sadly couldn’t find images of them online. They include the MegaCon Exclusives (limited to 350/75 copies) by David Nakayama, the Phoenix Fan Fusion Exclusive (limited to 350) by Paul Green and Mos, the VIP Exclusive (250) by Green and Mos, and the Pin Program Exclusive (150) by Mike DeBalfo and Mos. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A, B A-, C A, and D C+

The story: A bearded barefoot man runs around a corner of concrete wall. His shirt is torn at the shoulder. He looks behind him as he runs. “Oh God, oh no, no, no…Need to…Need to keep moving…” Turning another corner he hasn’t the strength to continue and falls to his hands and knees. Turning as a shadow falls upon him, he pleads with the pursuer and puts up a hand as he screams. The point of view pulls back to reveal a massive arena that contains a gigantic maze with a circus tent in the center. The man’s screams punctuates the image as the throng of people in the stadium cheer. Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, and Dave Franchini have crafted this twisted tale, which is written by the latter. Skye opens her eyes to find herself on the ground with five people looking at her: twenty-something couple Ted and Jill, Alica and her young daughter Beth, and Dale. The five individuals woke up in this giant maze where they’ve been running for their lives. Only Alicia has seen what’s after them and that’s because “it” killed her husband. Without her sword, Skye says she’ll protect them and uses her abilities to fly up, only to have giant spikes come out of the walls to crush her. Her powers then disappear and that’s when Goldilocks appears on the maze wall saying Skye and the others are going to make good sport for the audience. Plus, her sword will be sold since their are a “few interested parties for it.” The goal is to survive and the six begin to run. I like that the threats build every few pages and there are casualties along the way. There’s an introduction of an object that Skye was looking for in the previous issue and it’s not easy to obtain. The turnabout on 18 is nice with a great hero moment at the bottom of 19. The book ends with a good cliffhanger featuring a villain who looks to have last fought Belle. I’m loving this Odyssey saga. Overall grade: A

The art: I liked the art on this by Eman Casallos. The first page establishes the scale of the maze from the get-go with the man running around a corner of an enormous wall. His torn shirt and bare feet tell the reader he’s in an awful state. The third panel reinforces the immense size of the maze and, with a shadow, the threat that’s after him. The pull in to the man in the final panel shows that he will be killed because the background has gone black: the shadow of the threat has engulfed him. Page 2 is a full-paged splash that shows the maze with the circus tent in the center. The mob that surrounds the maze are various circles, but, having pulled back so far from the maze to show it in its entirety, what else could they be? I really like the tight close-up in a small panel that shows Skye’s eyes as she opens them in this location — very cinematic. The large panel on the page introduces the five poor souls she’s trapped with. They look like the typical everyman characters, though after hearing Dale’s name his design had me giggling, expecting him to be next to Bill, Jeff, or Hank. The point of view of the panel is good, as it’s shown from Skye looking up at them. The first three panels on 5 are diagonal and increase the action that Skye’s committing. Goldilocks’s reveal is good, but there’s a lot of empty space in that panel; Casallos was probably expecting more text there. I like the first two panels on 6 that are set up to show the characters close up and in conflict. I like the tilted perspective on 7 that shows the antagonist, one of her minions, and an object. Very cool. I like the characters running, though the one in the front at the top of 9 is striking a Flash pose. The first panel on 10 was good for showing all the characters that are alive and those that have died. I really needed to see a body in the third panel on 11 because he just disappeared from the setting, though I do love the pose of the individual at the bottom of the page. The small panels on the next two pages are an excellent way to show all the action occurring — very well done! The design of the creature that appears on 14 is okay, until I looked at the feet: different, but not a deal breaker on the book. I do like the design of the object on its upper left arm. I liked the action that starts 19 and the pose that ends it — outstanding! Skye is fantastic looking in the large panel on 21, with her hair and power surging excellent. The last page has a visual cliffhanger. It’s okay, but I didn’t want Skye to already be unconscious or to have it so darkly colored. I enjoyed the look of this issue. Overall grade: B+

The colors: Jorge Cortes does a good job as the book’s colorist. The man on the run on the first page stands out against the gray walls and brown ground with so much flesh showing and his golden hair. I liked seeing the traditional colors of the big top in the middle of the blue maze and the dark mob of people in the arena. Skye’s eyes are a gorgeous blue when she opens them on Page 3. The five characters in the maze with Skye are also stand outs on the page with their bright, but realistically colored, clothes. The sound on 5 has a neat color, as does Goldilocks’s name when she appears. I like the background behind the villain, with a lighter spot behind her hand, that allows the reader to focus on that first and then natural move to the character’s face. Skye’s power up and sputter on 6 is good, as is Goldie’s hair whenever she appears. The creatures that appear on 11 are a little too similar to the setting’s walls, having them blend in too much with the background. I do like the crimson and sound colors that follow on the next two pages. The coloring of the monstrous beast that Skye fights is brown, which, like the previous threats, blends in a little too much with the background. The sounds during this fight are perfect. I love the colors in the fourth panel on Page 20. Excellent! The final page’s colors are a little too dark for the character at the bottom, but Skye looks great. Overall grade: B

The letters: This issue’s text, which includes dialogue, yells, sounds, screams, speech for a group of particular foes, and the tease for next issue are created by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. On the first page Esposito uses a different front for the yells, so readers know that characters are putting some strong emphasis in their bellows. The unseen creature that growls at the man in the opening has the same sound repeated later in the book, so reader’s can use the sound to recognize this as the same beast from the opening. The group of foes that attack in the middle of the book has a slightly different speech font than humans, but it’s just enough for the reader to recognize that they sound different. The tease for next issue is as beautiful and exotic as the locale it teases. Overall grade: A

The final line: Skye seeks another piece of weaponry to aid her quest, but has some major obstacles to overcome. I was glad to see the inclusion of normal characters against the threats, forcing Skye to defend them as well as be on the offense. Goldilocks’s return is good and I hope to see more of her soon. The visuals are fine throughout, though not spectacular. That said, I would more than welcome the artist and colorist back. This was a solid comic with The Odyessy arc moving along smoothly. 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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