Written by: Joe Brusha
Drawn by: Alisson Rodrigues and Roberto Viacava
Published by: Zenescope Entertainment Inc
It’s always difficult to jump into a series mid-arc, and unfortunately, much has taken place in preceding issues to set up the events that unfold in Grimm Fairy Tales #52.
Through what I imagine was very careful writing and editing by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco, respectively, the reader—though certainly left with the knowledge that he or she does not have the complete story—is plunged into a sea of action and intrigue.
The very first panel, a stunning, dynamic shot of the book’s heroine, Sela, is masterly rendered by the artistic collaboration of Alisson Rodrigues and Roberto Viacama, whose artwork only gets better in the pages that follow.
Sela attempts to ward off a rather sinister looking representation of Death, who, in an ironic turn of fate, has come not to take Sela’s life but rather to—from Death’s perspective—resurrect her quest to save the soul of one Erik, whose relationship to Sela remains shrouded in mystery throughout.
Death offers Sela the chance to reclaim Erik’s lost soul, and Sela, whose virtue and valor are as evident as her physical gifts, takes that chance.
What follows is a bifurcated narrative that reveals there are foul plots, and fouler transgressors, that populate Myst (the mythical land in which our story takes place) and guide its destiny.
On the one hand, we watch helplessly as Sela descends into a sort of geographical madness, an enchanted forest that offers mostly doom and dismay.
On the other, an entirely different set of circumstances show an unnamed figure—who, for some reason, reminds me of Drak the Destroyer—killing defenseless farmers and setting their lands ablaze all in the name of revenge and reclamation, specifically revenge against those who killed his queen and stole his kingdom, and specifically the reclamation of said kingdom.
The real villain, however, is undoubtedly a hooded mage named Morgarzera, whose quest du jour seems to be killing Sela before she can free Erik. Morgarzera shape-shifts into a raging, fire-breathing bull to slay Sela, but his malignant maneuverings are thwarted—albeit for precious few moments—by the appearance of a benevolent stag whose power seems to closely match that of the repugnant cud-chewer.
The end panel, a real cliffhanger—and I use that term quite appropriately—leaves the reader desperate to read the next issue.
Kudos to all involved—this book is exceptional.
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