Monday, June 1, 2015

Review - 10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot


"But a far cry from my glory days of trading blows with Highborns over the fate of the universe."

Being a bounty hunter is hard enough as it is. What makes it even harder is when your bounties are something that's not exactly human. Tracking them down requires a different kind of hunter--one that Britney Waters happens to be in 10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot from Zenescope Entertainment. The issue is written by Jeff Massey, illustrated by Chris Johnson, colored by Leonardo Paciarotti and lettered by Saida Temofonte.

Since the fall of HiboCorp, Britney Waters-ninja, psychiatrist, and falseblood lycanthrope-has carved out a (relatively) quiet life for herself as an LA bounty hunter, recovering elusive bail-jumpers and supernatural skips. But is it enough? And when the legendary Master of the Hunt arrives on the scene to hunt an ancient werewolf, will Red become his greatest ally or his latest prey?

10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot actually plays out pretty fast. Massey's story starts off with Britney tracking down her latest target, only to run into another bounty hunter who's named himself the "Master of the Hunt." Their interactions show them as pretty evenly matched, working in a way that sets them up for a confrontation later in the issue. Britney belief that she might have found a new ally in her battle is delivered pretty realistically, as Massey uses their encounter as a springboard for Britney to have surface thoughts about who she can trust. The one-shot nature of the issue gives the characters a pretty even arc throughout and Massey ensures the reader gets closure on the issue's events.

Boasting a relatively simplistic art style, 10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot features characters that are illustrated proportionally to one another. There are some panels where Johnson seems to have a little trouble with those proportions (and details in general); for instance, panels that are distance shots feel hurried and slightly incomplete. Closer in though and Johnson does much better, offering a variety of facial expressions that give the reader a good sense of what the characters may be feeling at that moment. There's a good mix in terms of panel layouts that keeps the book feeling fresh throughout. Paciarotti's colors thrive on reds, yet the bounty's shirt feels completely overpowering for some reason as a blue plaid.

10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot is a pretty enjoyable one-shot that does what it aims to do. Unlike many of the other books in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, this one isn't so steeped in other events and can be read pretty easily by itself. The fact that it's a one-shot slightly undercuts the potential rivalry that the two of them could have fostered in a longer series, but Massey manages to make the story work nonetheless. Johnson's art is solid at points and offers characters with very convincing facial expressions. 10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot is definitely worth picking up for Zenescope fans, but those a little unfamiliar with that universe might still find something worth checking out.

10th Anniversary Red Riding Hood One-Shot is in stores June 17.

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