Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Helsing #2 (Comics Review)
With the launch of Helsing last month, Zenescope moved further into establishing a stronger urban fantasy niche for itself, having already had success with various other fairy tale, folk tale and mythology titles. With an ever-widening scope that is always looking to get bigger and better, Helsing fits in nicely with the publisher’s other titles, especially since Liesel van Helsing is a member of the Realm Knights, who are essentially the superhero team of the Grimmverse. The fact that Helsing #1 was one of my best reads last month is just icing on the cake, I think.
Helsing #2 continues where the first issue left off and we tag along with Liesel as she investigates the source of the mysterious papers from her dead father’s journal that were sent to her. The search leads her to a Jonathan Harker but also gets her into some trouble since she ends up going up against no less than three Vampire Brides. We also get to see lots of flashbacks to Abraham van Helsing’s final days as a vampire hunter as Liesel reads the journal papers, and overall this issue proves to be just as good as the first. The art is not as good this time around but is still fairly solid.
This issue starts off by expanding a little bit on the relationship between Hades (yes, the Greek God Hades) and Liesel. They’ve been dating for a while although their romance hasn’t really kicked off. While walking through Rome, Liesel receives a selfie from Hades and after a bit of indecision about what to do, she decides to take a few herself although she doesn’t really send any of them off to him. When their relationship was teased in the first issue, I thought it was one of the more fun elements of the whole thing and that remains true here as well. In this issues its all a bit PNR-trope, but not too much and is handled well I think. I kinda like the fact that Liesel isn’t taken in so easily by Hades’ charms and that she just does what she wants all the way.
Once we are done with that intro, we launch into the main storyline as Liesel tracks down Jonathan Harker’s bookshop, and before she can ask the man any questions about who sent her that package and what his connection to her father is, the shop is attacked by three vampire brides who’ve been hunting her ever since she landed in Rome. This is when the issue gets really interesting and we also get to see some kickass action involving staking and crashing bookshelves.
The whole fight scene is ultimately a setup for a conversation between Harker and Liesel later on, and we also get to see more of Abraham van Helsing himself as he talks about his last days as a vampire hunter. Last issue, we’d seen that he’d been on the trail of a supposedly unkillable vampire, and that subplot is expanded on here. We also see how he comes to meet Liesel’s mother and what happens to the family after the child’s birth, which sets the father off to find that particular vampire once again.
One of the best things in this issue was definitely Liesel’s dialogue and narration. It can be a bit stilted at times, but overall it flows smoothly and I enjoyed seeing the character in so many different situations. In many ways she is a typical urban fantasy action hero, but there are also moments where she is much more than that, and often very introspective too. Now that I loved, quite honestly.
Tony Brescini and Andres Esparza are back for another round on this 4-issue mini-series and they deliver solid work yet again. Fran Gamboa and J. C. Ruiz are still on colours, as is Jim Campbell on the letters. Brescini’s art is in the painted style and as I said last time, I think it needs some inking because the colours tend to run off a little bit and in some of the panels the facial features are a bit indistinct. Plus Liesel appears a little too thin in some of the panels. But Andres Esparza makes up for all of that quite nicely in the flashback scenes with Abraham van Helsing, and those are definitely among my favourites here. And as always, the colours were pretty good so no complaints on that front.
Quite a decent second issue, although I was hoping it would be better. Still, I’m enjoying this.
More Helsing: #1.
Posted on May 23, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Abraham Van Helsing, Andress Esparza, Comics, Comics Review, Fran Gamboa, Greek God, Greek Mythology, Grimm Fairy Tales, Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Helsing, Hades, Helsing, Horror, J. C. Ruiz, Jim Campbell, Liesel Van Helsing, Pat Shand, Realm Knights, Review, Review Central, Supernatural, Tony Brescini, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Zenescope, Zenescope Entertainment. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.