Grimm Fairy Tales #101 (Comics Review)

Recently Zenescope wrapped up its great Realms Fall arc, which was itself a part of the greater Age of Darkness arc that ran across the majority of Zenescope’s titles. This arc saw all the mystical realms fall before the power of the Dark Horde and its leaders, the Dark Queen and the Dark One. Many of the heroes are either dead or missing in the wake of this event, and as the larger story continues on in the Realm War mini-series, Zenescope is already moving forward with the Grimmverse in its flagship Grimm Fairy Tales title, which has been the bedrock of the Grimmverse for uncounted years now.

In Grimm Fairy Tales #101, the clock has moved forward a year from the events of the landmark Grimm Fairy Tales #100, and writer Pat Shand takes us quickly into the new, changed world. Sela Mathers, the former Guardian of the Nexus, is still a constant, as is her mentor Shang, and together they are rebuilding the Realm Knights. New students have been brought in, a new generation of heroes who will go on to serve the Realms, and the issue is a really fun trip through the process. And artist Andrea Meloni delivers some great artwork all through the issue, packed with tons of action as it is.

Grimm Fairy Tales 101Grimm Fairy Tales is a title that has been around for a long, long while. After all, it made it to a hundred issues last month, and that’s no small feat in comics because very few titles ever get to that level of success and continuity. There are only a small number of titles that have and personally, I’m really glad that Grimm Fairy Tales made it to this point. But now there is a whole new beginning ahead, and that’s what creators Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco have worked on with Zenescope stalwart Pat Shand on in this issue. Though a year has passed and Sela and Shang still bear the scars of the Age of Darkness, they are looking forward and I welcome that direction for this new phase.

In this issue, Shang brings four new students to Sela, at the Arcane Acre, which is the training ground for all Highborns and also for future Realm Knights, an illustrious team of defenders who guard the various Realms against any and all threats. Sela was once a Realm Knight as well, and she might very well be, though the Realm Knights as a team aren’t really around I think. The new students are a rather eclectic bunch, each with their own quirks and secrets, and that’s what this issue is about because one of the new trainees has a deep, dark secret that comes into play toward the end of the issue.

I liked what Pat Shand did in here. He plays up the whole “freshman year of high school” angle with the various new characters and he also introduces into the mix Sela’s daughter Skye, a character that I am distinctly unfamiliar with. And it all works, because though there is some predictability in this issue, this is also a fresh start, and I love fresh starts like this. Each character has much to offer and there is a lot of playful banter between them, though two of the trainees seem to be a rather… free duo. Not entirely unexpected I suppose, but also interesting because of how the dynamics are shaping up between them. Ali and Skye seem to kind of hit off as well, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how these two shy kids develop further as the story progresses from here, especially with that cliffhanger ending.

Andrea Meloni is the artist here with Renato Guerra on the colours, Jim Campbell on the letters and Artgerm turning out that amazing, beautiful and even a bit sensual cover, which I liked, truth be told. Andrea Meloni is an artist I’m familiar with from some previous Zenescope issues, and in this too the artist gives a good accounting with the characterwork and the action sequences. Sometimes the facial expressions can be a bit off and there will be slight differences in how characters are drawn on one page or another, but it is all rather minor. And Renato Guerra’s colours are simply aces here, he brings it all to life.

So yeah, a pretty damn good start to this new phase of Grimm Fairy Tales and also a great jumping-on point for new readers.

Rating: 9.5/10

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Posted on August 26, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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