In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales #28

This is Zenescope at their finest.

The covers: Hard core collectors are going to have to grab their wallets before they plunge into this issue because there are ten different covers to collect. Martin Coccolo and Ivan Nunes start things off strongly with their A cover. Skye is underwater and barreling at the reader. She has her shield before her in her left hand and her right is pulled back holding her sword that’s rippling with energy. And speaking of rippling, look at the outstanding lighting effects on her, the shield, and the background. The colors on this are also amazing. The Sea Witch is rising out of the water to attack Skye on the B cover by Igor Vitorino and Hedwin Zaldivar. Skye captures the eye first for being so close to the reader, commanding the center of the illustration, and the phenomenal pinks emanating from her sword that are falling on her. The details in this with the rain, the water, and the lighting are great. The Little Mermaid returns courtesy of John Royle, Jagdish Kumar, and Mohan Sivakami. Following her trail of bubbles, Erica has come from the top of the water and swooped around to confront the reader, a trident held in her right hand and a wicked sword held behind her in her left. There’s a smile on her face that softens her weapons, but I wouldn’t want to offend her. This is beautiful and has me hoping for another miniseries featuring her. The D cover by Alfredo Reyes and Ylenia Di Napoli focuses on Skye who’s walking out of the ocean with two massive rocky hills behind her. She’s gorgeous as she emerges from the water, with her sword still partially submerged. I like the work with the ocean and the waves, with their colors excellent. But I’m willing to bet most readers aren’t looking at the background. There are also six Exclusive covers, though, sadly, I couldn’t find images of them online. They include the San Diego Comic Con Blank Sketch cover (limited to 350 copies), the In-Store Exclusive (limited to 100) by Michael Dooney and Ula Mos, The Gemini Exclusive (350) by Elias Chatzoudis, the Zenescope Anniversary Exclusives (350/100) by Paul Green and Mos, and the Secret Exclusive by Green and Mos. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A+, B A-, C A+, and D A

The story: No time is wasted in this issue plotted by Joe BrushaRalph Tedesco, and Dave Franchini, with Franchini writing this installment. Skye is in the predicament that ended last issue: underwater with the Sea Witch attacking her. With one of her tentacles she’s taken Skye’s sword from her and with two more she begins to strangle the Guardian of the Realms. Just as the hero begins to lose consciousness a trident streaks by the antagonist’s face. Three armored mermen are speeding forward to rescue Skye. The Sea Witch releases her prey saying, “It seems we will have to finish this conversation another day, guardian. Don’t worry, I’ll be seeing you soon.” When Skye wakes up she’s in a cell in Atlantis with a strange transparent half-bubble strapped to her face. Someone outside the door givers her something and more characters are introduced. Pages 9 and 10 have Skye meeting Erica, Queen of Atlantis, and there’s a lot of information given. Readers who have read the previous two issues know all of this, but it catches up new readers on Skye’s quest and informs Erica. I like how the Sea Witch is aware of their conversation. Naturally the Big Bad arrives on the scene and with only one sentence (panel four, Page 13) she creates distrust which is followed by chaos. The battle is good and I enjoyed how Skye was doing all that she could not to fight. The action of 20 was great. I also enjoyed how Skye is once again in trouble after she uses the sword to cross into a new land. This is a perfect comic book story. Overall grade: A+

The art: I can’t recall the last time Daniel Mainé did a book’s interiors, so this is something to treasure. The opening illustration is a full-paged splash showing the Sea Witch attacking Skye. Both characters look terrific, the tentacles awesome, and the bubble work amazing (#thingineverthoughtiwouldwrite). The fantastic details never let up — look at the tentacle work on the second page that has them dominating every panel. The Sea Witch is beautiful and outright stunning atop Page 3. I’m more often than not unfavorable toward computer effects in comics, but the blur that ends the same page is perfect. The exteriors of Atlantis are only shown on 4 and they look great. The reflections and shines from Skye’s breathing apparatus make it real. Erica’s first appearance fits a queen, with her throne cool. But look at the panel that tops it on 8 — I love that no one’s feet touch the ground; this, too, makes the story real. 12 is a full-paged splash marking a character’s entrance and it’s epic. The faces of every character on 14 are perfection. The transformation on 15 is great, plus the shock that ends the page is a WOW! panel. The fight is strong and the action on 20 cool. The book ends with another full-paged splash as Skye arrives in the middle of a skirmish involving a familiar face. Anytime Mainé draws a book it should be purchased. Overall grade: A+

The colors: The first page has Skye being the focus because of the bright colors of her clothes crafted by Jorge Cortes. Look at the fantastic work done on the witch’s tentacles. Fantastic! I like how Skye’s thought boxes are in a dark violet to separate them from the Sea Witch’s light violet dialogue balloons. The golden armor of the mermen instantly designates them as royal. The colors on and under Skye’s breathing apparatus on 5 is outstanding. The highlights on Erica’s dress are also impressive, and I love the purple streaks in her hair. The different colors of green on a transformed character are perfect hallmarks of the sea. Skye’s exclamation on 19 is explosive due to the color of the text and the ring that surrounds the balloon. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Ace letterer Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios creates narration and editorial notes (the same font), dialogue, screams, sounds, yells, a scene setting, and the tease for next issue. I have no problem with the narration and editorial notes being in the same font because they’re not on the same page at the same time. The dialogue is easy to read and never steps on important elements of the artwork. His sounds are spectacular and Esposito’s yells increase the intensity of the character, such as at the end of Page 19. I know a book will have outstanding text when Esposito is in charge. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This is Zenoscope at their finest. This is a perfect entry point for new readers, while still being enjoyable to long time fans. The visuals — art, colors, and letters — are outstanding. This is why this book and publisher thrive. 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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