In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales #30

Skye gets further down the Yellow Brick Road and learns important information.

The covers: Nine covers to collect as Skye gets closer to having all the tools she needs to save Shang. The A cover by Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes has Skye making her way through a swamp. Her sword ripples with pink energy as she goes to the right of the image. Behind her is the massive smiling head of the Mad Wizard in green, whose eyes are emitting an emerald colored energy. A good cover that teases what might be in store for the hero of this series. The B by Martin Coccolo and Hedwin Zaldivar has some solid action. Beneath the tower of a castle at night, Skye is wielding her sword against a red headed woman, clothed in violet, who has orange energy writhing about her fists. A good clash of two magic users with both characters look fantastic and the colors are outstanding. I really like how the background doesn’t fade against the bright colors of the characters, but absolutely holds its own. Geebo Vigonte and Nunes do the C cover, which could be considered the “Good Girl” frontpiece. This features Skye standing on a balcony within the Emerald City. She’s wearing a costume more suited to her mother, but it still looks good on her: a low cut top in blue and white, white upper arm coverings, an extremely short blue skirt, and black stockings. She has her right hand holding the balcony rail, while her left hand has her sword which has violet flame emanating from it. The character stands out strongly against all the greens in the background. Really good! The D is by Michael Dooney and Ula Mos featuring Skye’s red headed opponent from the B cover. This villain is walking to the reader with both hands open at her side. An unholy amount of pink and violet energy streams out of them leaving a monstrous trail behind her. Her eyes have gone white and her dark violet one piece barely covers her lower regions. She is not a character to mess with! Outstanding! I’m really liking when the D covers on Zenescope books focus on the villains. There are also five Exclusive covers to collect, but I couldn’t find images of them online. They include the Labor Day Cosplay Exclusive (Limited to 350/100 copies) by Sun Khamunaki, the VIP ComicFest Webstore Only Exclusive (350) by Mike DeBalfo and Mos, the Secret Exclusive by Keith Garvey, and the Libra Exclusive (350) by Elias Chatzoudis. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A B+, B A+, C A-, and D A+

The story: Skye is walking the Yellow Brick Road in Oz with three “Boggers” tied up behind her. As she leads them she wonders why all of this happening. One moment she’s visiting Dorothy and the next she’s being attacked by these short people. They eventually get to their destination, a fenced off area of the woods with several homes that serve as bases high up around trees. Just as Skye says, “Where is everyone?” a dozen armed short people leap down, brandishing their swords, demanding that Zamora release her prisoners and surrender. Skye can make quick work of these people with her magic, but Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, and Dave Franchini, with Franchini writing the issue, have something else in store for her. On Page 7 an important character arrives and does something on 9 that changes several characters’ perspective. Two pages later, Skye gets information on how to get Chang, and it’s going to take longer than she suspected. I like that the characters took a chance on 12 and what their results were. Page 15 has another character introduced and she was fun: I’m glad she wasn’t ultra powerful or a stereotype created simply to move the story forward. Pages 19 – 21 were incredibly moving. I didn’t expect this from the story and was impressed that it went there to establish this individual as a fully rounded character. The last page has Skye continuing on her journey with some teases of trouble to get in her way soon. I liked the two new characters in this issue and how they moved the story forward believably. There wasn’t any action in this issue, but it does want me to pick up the next issue right away. Overall grade: B+

The art: Eman Casallos does a great job on this book. Look at the angle of the first panel, which is from as-yet-unrevealed Skye’s point of view, with the reader looking down upon the gagged Bogger. The point of view pulls back to reveal a second of his ilk, but still looking down at the character. The final panel pulls back further to show the the third member of the crew, again looking down upon them. This is an excellent way to establish the size of this trio and leads to a terrific reveal on the second page which is a full-paged splash of Skye looking down on the three. She is a giant in this illustration! The next page is a flashback from the previous issue to show what led Skye to her current situation. It’s quick, concise, and good. The new location is revealed is on 5 and allows the throng of characters to arrive dramatically on 6. The arrival of the character in the bottom panel on 7 is good because she’s not named, but given the others’ reaction to her any reader will able to tell how important she is. Page 9’s fourth panel has a simple action that looks massive because of how it effects a character. Pages 10 and 11 have two characters sitting in a fairly small space and Casallos moves the point of view around well to make things interesting. I love the power on 12, which is the strongest action in the issue. The first panel on 13 is funny and the dialogue adds to the humor. The next page has a neat tease of the next character. Her initial visuals make her look like a cliché character, but as she continues through the issue, her visuals change making her look much more sympathetic, and making her a much more real character. The flashbacks featuring the other characters look good, but that first panel on the penultimate page is a heartbreaker. The last page is a full-paged splash that shows Skye back where she began this issue, but with teases of new characters popping up. Casallos does a solid on this book. Overall grade: A-

The colors: I really like the colors on this book by Jorge Cortes. I need the colors of Oz to be spectacular and Cortes doesn’t disappoint in this issue. The yellows of the iconic brick road look great. The Boogers on the first page are clothed in radiant blues and greens. Look how Skye looks incredible on the second page with her costume looking as if it came out of the blue sky that’s behind her. The flashbacks, all three pages of them, are tinted in sepia to make them look aged and those colors work extremely well. The colors in the fourth panel on 9 sell the artwork’s action. The blues on 12 are great and their difference from the blue sky draws the eye. Overall grade: A

The letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios, one of the best letterers in the business, creates dialogue, narration and an editorial note (the same font), yells, sounds, and the tease for next issue. There’s not a lot of showy work in this issue, but the text looks good. The narration and the one editorial note are both in italics, which suits them because they are technically asides to the audience. The yells are in a larger thicker font than the dialogue so the reader can hear their volume better. There aren’t too many sounds, but those that appear look good, with the one on 12 being humorously monstrous. The tease for next issue is the most creative text that Esposito gets to create and it teases a fantasy feel for next issue’s threats. Good work throughout by Esposito. Overall grade: A- 

The final line: Skye gets further down the Yellow Brick Road, making new allies and learning more about her shield. There’s not much action, but the progression of the story is entertaining. This is essentially a middle piece of Skye in Oz. It’s good, but doesn’t pack the punch of the previous issue. The visuals are great, having me hope that Casallos returns to another Zenescope book, along with Cortes and Esposito. 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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