Anyway, this year marks my first time reading an issue from America-based independent comic book publisher Zenescope Entertainment’s popular fantasy action comic book series Grimm Fairy Tales (not counting any of the free-to-read items that were distributed on Free Comic Book Day 2014 and Halloween ComicFest 2014 respectively). At first, I was not interested in reading anything from this series when I first heard of it like a couple of years back as I was just into looking at the artworks featuring the series’ sexy, strong, and buffy heroines, but eventually, I developed the desire to include some non-superhero fantasy action/adventure in my comic book collection. So days ago, I got me a copy of the 100th issue milestone of Grimm Fairy Tales (written by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco and illustrated by Anthony Spay), hoping to read a extremely amp’d-up tale where an all-star cast of heroes and villains get together in what is supposed to be a landmark celebration, especially when its publisher promised it to be the most epic and action-packed GFT adventure ever. But how amp’d up is this issue? Well, lets find out in this review.
The aspect of this issue that kept this fresh was how the narrative structure was set up by its writers. Basically, it began with a look into the past where the people in Oz were given notice on the dangers they needed to prepare to save themselves from, then moved on to showing the present, where Sela Matters, known to be the central character of the entire GFT saga, was being held hostage by the Dark Queen, the villainess the ruler of Oz warned about. Fortunately, the plot next brought in a foursome of soldiers to come to Sela’s rescue with an unnamed ally showing up to help as well,, and shaking the action up enough to grab reader attention was the arrival of more of the Dark Queen’s henchmen. Basically, there was this dynamic where the story went from preparation for coming danger to despair to heroes making an entrance, and then more despair.
As this issue of the series centered around a fate where the human world and the four realms once thought to only exist within fairy tales (Oz, Wonderland, Myst, and Neverland) was at stake, I was hoping to see every hero from each of the settings do his or her part in thwarting the landscape-altering plot of the Dark Queen, the antagonist of this issue. Unfortunately, although this issue featured lots of characters on page, only a few heroes got to maintain a major role in the story. Adding to the oddity was that not all of the main heroes with the major role in this issue had their names mentioned on page (take note of Sela’s unnamed blonde haired rescuer for example), which could be a turn off for readers who never read any of the previous issues of Grimm Fairy Tales before this one because lets face it, everybody wants to know who is who. While this issue was my first time reading from this fantasy series, I was hoping to see a few other major GFT heroines I heard of before get involved in the main action, such as Dorothy Gale, Cinderella, and Robyn Hood, but it seemed as if there was no room for every all-star character of Grimm Fairy Tales to have any lines or on-page appearance. If you ask me, this issue should have used way more pages than what it contained.
Another flaw of this issue was that the writers did not fully explain the whole age of darkness concept. I got it that the Sela and her comrades attempted to stop the Dark Queen from completing her evil goal, but yet though the villain herself apparently triumphed, one of the good knights from Oz Thane said, “The Age of Darkness has fallen. Nothing can ever be the same”. The thing is nothing was made clear on if Thane was happily assuming that evil lost of if he mistook the Age of Darkness for an age of wonder now ruined by evil, but considering that it was meant to tie-in to a bigger storyline “Age of Darkness”, anyone who never read would feel just as lost on what the heck was going on in this issue as I was when I read it myself.
The 100th issue of Grimm Fairy Tales features the right kind of narrative to keep a fantasy action tale going fresh. Unfortunately, it fails to be as action-packed as its publisher promised it to be owing to both the little amount of all-star heroes playing main roles within this one item and the lack of clarity about what the whole Age of Darkness deal is about with the latter problem making this issue look like the work of someone who assumes that every comic book reader in the North American already read Age of Darkness. Therefore, it is not really a good option on where comic book readers should get themselves introduced to the world of Grimm Fairy Tales, especially when it is too short to show everything it should have featured not only in the name of celebrating all things GFT, but also for the sake of making it as hyped-up as Zenescope said it would. Thanks for reading, and see you next time.
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