Friday, June 26, 2015

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1


"The prophecy was coming. It was my job to stop it."

The Grimm Fairy Tales universe has its fair share of heroines and heroes, one of whom is Baba Yaga. The powerful witch has cut a swath through the universe, stopping those in her path. When she goes up against Crusaders in Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 from Zenescope however, things may get a little tougher for her. The issue is written by Zach Calig, illustrated by Diego Galindo, colored by Michael Bartolo and lettered by Charles Pritchett.

Modern Day 2015, a group of unsuspecting women are attacked in their New England home and burned at the stake. The men responsible call themselves the New Crusaders and they are determined to find a woman named Avril Williams, a young witch more powerful than anyone could ever imagine.

Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 is a story that jumps back and forth between past and present. The similarities between the two eras demonstrates a parallel in how the witches of Salem are viewed, with Calig presenting them as evil incarnate. That's not entirely the case, but it does prompt Baba Yaga to make an uneasy alliance in order to save herself. Calig's jumping back and forth between past and present proves to be a little overwhelming at times, simply because there are points where the past is revisited for a page strictly to provide context for an event on the next few pages. It feels as if the chronology is a little disorganized for the purposes of telling the story.

Galindo illustrates the witches and Arcania Covenant Crusaders in stark contrast to one another. The witches are depicted as simpler, whereas the Crusaders are equipped with full-on riot gear, demonstrating to the reader that the confrontation between the two groups will not make anything better. Galindo actually illustrates the Crusaders more effectively in this regard, as it's easy to understand why the witches would fear them so much because of their firepower. There are some facial expressions from some of the main characters that look a little funny though; for instance there's a smirk on Liza's face that makes her look silly. Bartolo's colors are largely black and blue, fitting in the nighttime setting and accenting the riot gear worn by the Crusaders.

Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 boasts the Grimm Fairy Tales moniker, but doesn't feel too ingrained in that universe. Baba Yaga is a character who's recognizable from other Grimm Fairy Tales works and her abilities in Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 are certainly not to be trifled with, yet there's enough in the issue to explain who she is without being steeped in the Zenescope universe. Calig's script is pretty straightforward and does a good job of building up the Crusaders as ruthlessly efficient at their jobs. Bartolo's illustrations are good, effectively keeping up with the action. Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 is probably going to have a lot of appeal to Zenescope fans and anyone looking for a book where religious zealots have it out for witches.

Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 is in stores now.

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