Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review - Snow White vs. Snow White #1 (@zenescope)


"The realms of power are mine!"

Characters like Sela Mathers have seen her fair share of chaos throughout her life. And living in the comic version of the Grimm Fairy Tales offers plenty of chaos. Things get even more difficult for Sela though in Snow White vs. Snow White #1 from Zenescope. The issue is written by Lou Iovino, illustrated by David Cutler, colored by Valentina Cuomo and lettered by Christy Sawyer.

It's undeniable. Evil lurks in the heart of everyone. Try as we might to prevent it, our dark sides will occasionally surface, sometimes with disastrous results. Sela Mathers knows this. She's dealt with it before -- and triumphed. But she's never faced a challenge like this. When the darkness in her is given life, emerging as a flesh and blood being bent on stealing everything from her, Sela is put to the ultimate test. She'll fight for Arcane Acre, Shang, and her sister, Belinda. She'll fight for her daughter Skye. She'll fight as Earth's Guardian. But her most important battle will be the one for her very soul. Can Snow White defeat Dark White?

There's a lot happening in Snow White vs. Snow White #1 and Iovino does a pretty solid job of pacing it all. The issue is clearly a big set-up as Iovino introduces the players, sets the stakes and offers a pretty massive battle for good measure. The concept also breathes new life into the Grimm Fairy Tales universe by pitting one of the universe's linchpin characters against herself essentially, making for a pretty fun story. Iovino doesn't stray too far from what makes the characters tick in the first place and that built-in characterization puts the issue at an advantage in that it doesn't have to delve too deeply in the mythology to establish the contrast amongst the characters. Iovino's dialogue is pretty straightforward as well and effectively moves the plot forward.

The artwork by Cutler is a little inconsistent. For instance, his portrayal of the more fantastical creatures/characters are really well done, effectively conveying to the reader the sense of magic involved in the plot. His renderings of characters though is a bit vaguer, in that people forms seem to be illustrated with simplified anatomy and shapes. The artwork isn't at all bad, but there are parts where it's difficult to discern a particular emotion in a character because they're drawn from a distance. The colors by Cuomo are heavily saturated in blues to give more emphasis to the night setting for most of the issue.

Books in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe haven't shied away from the crazy and Snow White vs. Snow White #1 is just as wild. Sela has seen her fair share of crazy within that universe, but pitting her against herself is a new challenge that even she might not be up to. Iovino's script is pretty simple and keeps things moving for all involved. Cutler's illustrations are a good fit the story and give the reader a solid sense of the wonderment that comes with Sela's world. Snow White vs. Snow White #1 is a pretty interesting first issue (of two) that gets right to the point and seems to enjoy doing so.

Snow White vs. Snow White #1 is in stores now.

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