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Getting Grimm | Grimm Fairy Tales Issue 100

Written by  Published November 18, 2014 11:49
When I first started writing for ENR, the original plan was to dedicate my entire column to focusing on superhero-centric works of fiction. Then I started to include non-superhero-centric animated works from Japan (such as the 2002 television series Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and 1995 film Ghost in the Shell), impacting the column’s main theme, and with me including two comparison features each including at least one non-superhero-centric fiction property as part of its focus as well (one including focus on the 1966 starship adventure series Star Trek and the other comparing two non-superhero television multiseries with each other, Doctor Who and Pokemon), you can say that my entire column at ENR evolved from being a superhero-themed one to one where all the featured pieces cover something going by the action/adventure genre, which is exactly the genre shared by every work of fiction I reviewed and/or analyzed so far for this website.  

gft coverAnyway, 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.

5fad_50b3The 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 5faf_38a5and 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.

5fb1_800aAnother 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 GFT-100-Cover-Ckeep 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.

 You can get this issue and any issue from Zenescope right here at eXpertComics.com. Never Pay Cover Price!

 

Christopher Arnold

Meet Montreal Island-born fanboy Christopher Arnold. He is a fan of a number of things: comic book action/adventure heroes (the superhero kind included), science-fiction, horror, Japanese Animation, action figure collecting, cosplay photography, and fan art. While his main column focus at ENR is action/adventure storytelling (regardless of if it includes sci-fi, horror, fantasy), when it comes to reviewing/analyzing material, whether it be comics/graphic novels, film, or even television, he is the kind of person to avoid judging a work of fiction by time of release and by nation of origin (and that's part of his moral code). Also, he's not afraid to admit if he finds comparison between two unrelated media properties. While he enjoys serving you, the readers, he's not the kind to show his true face on social media (so PLEASE, RESPECT HIS PRIVACY).

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