Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales: Unleashed #1

In the world of Grimm Fairy Tales, there are Highborns and Falsebloods. The two share something in that they've both got supernatural capabilities to be used for whatever reason. When a being arrives who threatens both though, things will get a little crazy, as they do in Unleashed #1 from Zenescope Comics.

The issue is written by Pat Shand, with art by Carlos Paul, Jacob Bear and Miguel Mendonca, colors by Anvit Renderia, Francesca Zambion, Ulises Grostietta, Stephen Lemineur and Daniel Morales and lettered by Jim Campbell.

The Being has arrived and he's making quite a name for himself. His intention is to unleash a legion of monsters that have been trapped for centuries onto the world, prompting uneasy alliances to form in order to stop him. That includes even the very powerful Belinda, someone who may be the key to stopping all the evil from being unleashed. Mix in Sela and Van Helsing, Zeus and his crew and a vampire named Samira and you've got everything unraveling at the seams.

Shand is quickly becoming the go-to guy in the Zenescope universe and with good reason. He does a great job allowing the story to unfold evenly, without rushing things too much. Samira's motives aren't completely clear at this point (beyond just wanting to summon the Being to control the world) and Belinda's involvement will likely be further fleshed out. The partnership of Sela and Van Helsing is intriguing and helps hammer home how dangerous the Being really is.

If there's one complaint about the writing, it's that the Being might be a little over-characterized. He's shown in a variety of situations, ranging from killing with abandon to levitating a city to playing chess. Someone as powerful as the Being really should let his actions define him and they do in Grimm Fairy Tales: Unleashed #1, but there are some instances where it seems a little overkill. Again, this isn't a knock against Shand's writing or characterization; it just feels like the Being is a little overused if that makes any sense.

The artistic team of Paul, Bear and Mendonca do a great job. They've got the Being illustrated as someone menacing and dangerous, while the other characters are true to Zenescope form. The book runs a wide-ranging gamut of panels and layouts, moving effortlessly from fight scenes to more pensive and relaxed situations. Van Helsing and Sela get to show off their fighting talents and the Being gets to kill with ease.

Grimm Fairy Tales: Unleashed #1 is a solid start at a universe crossover event. Shand keeps the story moving well and in an interesting direction and the first issue is really setting the tone for some fascinating events. The Being is every bit as feared as he should be and it'll take all of the Zenescope heavy hitters teamed up to take him down. The series should be a fun ride.

Unleashed #1 is available in stores now.


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