Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Year 10 One-Shot (@Zenescope)


"Well, let us say I've never been confused with a proper Englishwoman."

Van Helsing is one of the most formidable vampire hunters in all of history. In Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Year 10 One-Shot, she doesn't shy away from her talents in traveling through time and space to protect those close to her. The issue is written by David Wohl, illustrated by Anthony Spay, colored by Jorge Cortes and lettered by Jim Campbell.

n the early 19th century, Van Helsing loses someone she cares deeply about and the inventor in her triggers her to finish the time machine she had been working on. But when things backfire, Liesel is sent far into the future and comes face to face with a race of beings more terrifying then any vampire she’s ever faced. Now she must escape the terrifying Morlocks and find a way back home!

There's one aspect of Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Year 10 One-Shot that's very similar to that of the Tomb Raider series and that's Wohl's approach in characterizing Van Helsing. Like Lara Croft, Van Helsing leans on a certain sense of privilege mixed with ambition to achieve her goals. It's this determination that Wohl relies on to carry the story, following Van Helsing through alternate dimensions in her quest to save someone she lost. Her travels bring with them an assorted variety of opponents, most of whom are readily recognizable to Van Helsing even though they may have slightly different airs about them. Wohl jumps back and forth between moments of reflection and action-sequences fairly effortlessly, providing plenty of activity for Van Helsing.

Van Helsing is illustrated with the sophisticated look of England in certain scenes and the voluptuous look of Zenescope books in others. Spay balances this pretty well, using both styles as a means of characterizing two sides of her persona. His renderings of the time machine are sufficiently steampunk, helping to provide era-relevant context for Van Helsing in her current time. The panels are largely in grids, but there are some panels so full of dialogue bubbles that it's a little hard to see the artwork behind (let alone sift through all the dialogue). Cortes' colors reside primarily in the primaries, with most of the book basked in the dull blues familiar to those in the night.

Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Year 10 One-Shot doesn't really do anything to redefine the character, but it does offer Van Helsing a new situation that she must contend with. Her efforts to save those she cares about never seem to go off without a hitch and things definitely get interesting here. Wohl's script is pretty straightforward and clean, not letting the time-traveling slow it down. Spay's illustrations are clean and effective in keeping up with all of Van Helsing's battles. Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Year 10 One-Shot seems to have broader implications for the Zenescope universe down the road.

Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Year 10 One-Shot is in stores December 9.

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