Monday, February 23, 2015

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1


"You're going to open your eyes, Erica, and this will all have been just a bad dream."

Strip away the singing crab, careful flounder and over-protective king and The Little Mermaid is another story about youth finding their way as they get older. At it's core though it's much more; a blending of two worlds and understanding both. Zenescope is never one to shy away from taking those old classics and putting a spin on them, which explains their desire to publish Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1. The issue is written by Meredith Finch, illustrated by Miguel Mendonica, colored by Ivan Nunes and lettered by Ghost Glyph Studios.

Do you know the real story of the Little Mermaid? When a young mermaid finds herself captured, she will need to find the courage to confront her fears or perish at the hands of evil. A mother seeks her missing daughter and may be forced to work with an unlikely partner to get her back.

Thanks to Disney, The Little Mermaid is a pretty familiar story that acts as the pretty definitive version of it. Having said that, Finch's take on the tale features some rather interesting takes. Erica is the mermaid in question and her capture by scientists is done so under the guise of learning more, even if it's not quite clear to the reader as to what they're trying to learn. Meanwhile, Erica's mom seeks her out and comes across another familiar face to The Little Mermaid fans in Ursula who is sufficiently terrifying. Finch doesn't really waste too much in the way of dialogue, which helps the book flow well and offer a pretty moderate pacing.

Much of the book takes place under the sea and Mendonica does a good job focusing on the specifics of the action in the vastness of the ocean. The emphasis on the ocean is presented through very detailed depictions of it, with waves illustrated with body and a habitat teeming with underwater inhabitants. Erica is illustrated as a fearful mermaid who vaguely resembles Ariel, even if the clamshells on her chest are a little too high from a sensibility standpoint. Medonica handles shifts from good to evil rather deftly, with a truly terrifying being showing itself at various points throughout that book that reinforces the notion that we don't fully know what's beneath the surface. Using black for the gutters makes every panel stand out a bit more, contrasting sharply with the abundance of blues and blacks Nunes relies on for the colors.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1 is good first issue that pretty clearly lays out the stakes. Erica is the little mermaid and her tribulations are on full display, even if they're not fully explored in the fist issue. Finch has a good handle on the character and has a direction in mind for her and the other key players, hopefully planning to reveal the end game of the scientists in relation to Erica. Mendonica's illustrations are clean and concise, giving characters plenty of room to emote and express their personas. Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1 takes an old classic and offers the Zenescope spin to it, save for all the larger-universe implications that a book from the publisher might have.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1 is in stores February 25.

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