In Review: Snow White vs. Snow White #1

An average outing that will only please hardcore Zenescope fans.

The covers: A quartet to capture as this pair goes to war. The A cover is by Paolo Pantalena and Arif Prianto. This shows Sela Mathers, aka Snow White, emerging from the pages of the magical book of stories. She looks fantastic brandishing a sword at the reader. The coloring is also good, with the book’s pages being just a bit paler than the real character emerging from it. Excellent shadow work on Sela, too, making her look three dimensional. David Lorenzo Riveiro and Kyle Ritter are responsible for the B cover. This features Sela being throttled by her doppelganger from behind, with the antagonist starting to power up her right fist magically. Good image of both characters with the colors emphasizing the magical elements. The C is by Ace Continuado and Federico Blee showing Sela walking through an elaborately drawn forest. The colors are brighter on her than the setting, though it, too, features some great coloring, with the objects in the distance getting some lighter work. Both the character and the entire image are pretty. The final cover, the D, is a strong image of “Bad” Snow White by Pasquale Qualano and Gabriella Noriega. Snow gives a threatening smile to the reader as she strikes a cocky pose, surrounded by seven demonic looking dwarfs in the shrubbery. Evil excellence! Overall grades: A A+, B B, C A-, and D A+

The story: Set between Grimm Fairy Tales #114 and #115, “The Poisoned Apple” by Lou Iovino, from a story created by him, Joe Brusha, and Ralph Tedesco, a dragon bearing the Binder land in a forest clearing. The dragon transforms into a red headed green suited man named Slander. Binder opens his book of stories and energy explodes from the tome. Emerging out of the magical vortex is Sela Mathers bearing a wicked sword. Seeing the woman, Binder says, “No! It’s impossible!” Slander comforts the old man by saying, “There’s nothing to fear. She’s not who she seems. Like me, she is of the book. Not of this world.” Binder is upset he’s summoned the woman. She picks up the book and it sparks yellow flames. The glow does something to her so that when she gives the book to Binder she kills the man, keeps the item, and envelops herself in his dying energy. Slander immediately says he serves her and she says she wishes to meet the individual she resembles. What this Snow White actually is isn’t revealed in this issue, though there are some hints. When the two Snow Whites meet things don’t go well and that can be blamed, partially, on Sela coming on too strong. She could have handled meeting her twin better, but she pushed an issue and that leads to the conflict. The action isn’t just Snow vs. Snow, but Bolder, Belinda, and Shang along for the ride battling monstrosities conjured by Evil Snow. It’s a typical magical fight, though the ending doesn’t follow the usual format, with one character severely injured and another kidnapped. The cliffhanger of the issue will have Sela tearing off to rescue her friend and I’m looking forward to seeing the finale. Overall grade: B

The art: David Cuttler is the artist of this book and he does a fine job. The magic that issues from the book in the opening sequence is strong stuff and I’m glad to see that Cuttler was a given a full paged splash to introduce it. The vortex that evil Snow emerges from is also well done. The characters have an almost animated film look to them; they’re not cartoony, don’t think that, but instead look like a better WB or Japanese animated film. I especially like evil Snow and Slander who capture attention every time they appear. The oversized creatures that battle the heroes, though, are very cartoonish, and this detracted a little from the story; it’s hard to take the story seriously with the look of two of the creatures. The heroes, however, do look good and when the action sequence occurs they look as though they belong. The scenes set in the day look better than those at nights, because the art isn’t overwhelmed by the colors. Overall grade: B-

The colors: I’m running hot and cold with the colors. Things start out very strongly from Valentina Cuomo with the characters standing out very well in the dark. Whenever energy appears on a page Cuomo makes it incredibly powerful, such as on Page 3. There’s some excellent shading of characters skin on 4 – 8, with Cuomo doing a great job with the light sources. Things stay strong in Arcane Acre, with an energy effect, again, being outstanding. When the two characters finally meet the characters begin to become muddied, blending in too easily with the violets of the background, and the monsters’ color schemes don’t help the situation. 26 – 28 contain too many similar colors. The action sequence should have been the highlight of the book, but it’s brought down by the colors. Overall grade: C+

The letters: An editorial note, dialogue, sounds, scene settings, and yells are created by Christy Sawyer. All look fine, save the sounds. There are several times where the sounds are too tiny for the action, such as on 22 – 24. The sounds could have been bigger, going beyond the borders of the panels that contained them, to make the sounds large, but as they stand currently, they diminish the actions. Overall grade: B-

The final line: An average outing that will only please hardcore Zenescope fans. I expect better for $5.99. Overall grade: B-

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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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