In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales presents The Little Mermaid #4

Erica is on the run, while her father makes a massive decision.

The covers: Get your flippers on, because you’re going to have go swimming past others to track down all five covers. Mike Krome and Ula Mos do the A cover which shows Erica out of her enclosure, taking a breather, unaware of the person sneaking up behind her, whose shadow is cast on the tile wall. Nice cover that spotlights the title character, yet also communicates to readers where this tale is set. Good coloring, too. The setting is very cool because of the colors and Erica’s attributes are spotlighted. Paolo Pantalena and Sabine Rich do the B cover. The Sea Witch is doing battle with a character that hasn’t been encountered in this book; it could be King Issoro, transformed into his dark mermaid persona, which readers have seen Erica do in Issue #1. Nice layout and really excellent coloring. I don’t know what inspired the C cover by Guiseppe Cafaro, Simone Di Meo, and Sean Ellery, but it’s pretty creepy. It looks as if that’s Erica, in human form, looking into a mirror showing her in her dark mermaid mode. This is horrific, and well done, but has nothing to do with this issue. There are also two Phoenix Comic Con Exclusive covers, drawn by Michael Dooney and colors again by Mos, with the D cover limited to 350 copies and 100 of E, but, once again, I couldn’t find an image of it in this book or online. Overall grades: A A-, B B, and C B-

The story: Loyal attendant Proteus is trying to convince King Issoro that he’s made a mistake giving the Sea Witch a blessing last issue. It was given so that she would find his missing daughter Erica. Proteus begins to tell the young king that blessings are carefully worded and “They include a limit.” What the repercussions of his actions are will be told at a later time, for the scene shifts where the scientist that’s been operating on Erica is overlooking a vast army, saying, “They are even better than I could have expected. The Dark One will be pleased.” A vicious smile then spreads across his face as he orders two men to bring the mermaid to his lab where he looks forward to killing her through dissection. After the events of the final two pages of the previous issue, his joy to turns to shock. Written by Meredith Finch, from a story by Joe Brusha, “The Escape” is exactly what it states: Erica has gotten loose and she’s not going to go under the knife of her foe again. Her story is interrupted by a quick two page scene between her parents, that leads to a very surprising cliffhanger. I enjoyed watching Erica finally out and on the move, with her lines on Pages 11 and 12 being perfect. She shows an ability I didn’t know she possessed on 14 and the double-paged spread on 18 and 19 were spectacular. I have no clue what will happen next, with the most troubling individual in the book just watching in the final panel. A fun read. Overall grade: A

The art: Miguel Mendonca does really good character work. I’ll admit, I began buying this book to see the mermaid in action, and she’s been confined the entire time, but the looks of the other characters have more than made up for this. His Issoro looks great. He’s obviously a young ruler, but he’s very strong and buff. I like that Mendonca makes him look young on the first page, but when it’s time to put Proteus in his place on Page 2 the king looks as though he could take out a mountain. I like the age he puts into Proteus and the staging of both characters on Page 3 is really nice. And could where Proteus is located be a hint of things to come…? The background on this page is a nice visual, alerting readers to the actual range of the king’s powers. The top panel on Page 4 establishes the army, but they’re so far from the villain they don’t inspire too much menace, since they can’t really be seen. Things improve when the focus shrinks to individuals, and the emotion Mendonca gets out of the heroine and villain are great: Page 5, 7, and 12. Issoro is again a stand out by the book’s end with his roar. What needs some work are the backgrounds. I understand that Erica is running through a generic series of corridors through a generic installation, but they are really bland. A tremendous amount of lines are used to add dimension to them, but they’re not working. Aside from that, this book looks good. Overall grade: B+ 

The colors: An excellent job is done by Jorge Alberto Cortes on this book that is immediately noticeable on the first page. As expected, parts of this book are set underwater, and a variety of blues are needed to make this evident and Cortes does so beautifully. The structure where Erica is held is appropriately shiny and reflective, with some nice reflection work being done on floors and walls. The characters have some good shading on them, making them look more than two dimensional, such as on all of Pages 11 and 12. Fantastic work in violet is done on 14, and I’m hoping more scenes similar to this occur so I can see Cortes do this again but on a larger scale. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, scene settings, yells, a long rumble, and one crash are done by Ghost Glyph Studios. The scene setting at the top of four is odd, but the rest of the book is fine. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Erica is on the run, while her father makes a massive decision. Entertaining read with good visuals. Overall grade: A-

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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