Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 (@Zenescope)


"I was born with a great mind and I'm going to use it to make the world I want! A better world!"

Steampunk is a fun throwback to an imagined nostalgia. Even traditional characters can get swept up in that nostalgia and the most recent example is Alice in Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 from Zenescope Entertainment. The issue is written by Ryan Fassett, illustrated by Noah Salonga and Fritz Casas, colored by Robby Bevard and Erick Arciniega and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

The Wonderland ongoing series may have ended but that isn't the end of Alice. An alternate dimension is emerging in the Grimm Universe - and what better place to explore it could there be than by going through the looking glass? This new Alice in Wonderland tale expands on the story that began in the Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk miniseries.

Fassett takes the character of Alice and throws in a steampunk flair, largely in her inventiveness and desire to be creative. It's actually a pretty powerful tale in that it offers an empowered Alice seeking to rise above expectations, but aside from that Fassett stays pretty close to the Alice in Wonderland script. There are all the highlights of the story that make the story feel like an Alice in Wonderland homage of sorts. In fact, Fassett more or less crashes through the mythos to set up the confrontation in the issue that pits Alice against--you guessed it--the Queen of Hearts. The issue is paced somewhat erratically as Fassett moves Alice through scenes necessary to build up the ending and making the issue more plot-driven.

The artwork by Salonga and Casas is a good match for the story. Salonga and Casas offer up a look at Wonderland that's a pretty interesting one, in that it adds a new flourish to familiar characters. Alice with a steampunk look is essentially Alice with a Victorian look, but there are other aspects of steampunk throughout the issue in the way of robots and weaponry. The panel layouts are pretty frenetic as Salonga and Casas cram a lot of panels onto the pages and stack them atop one another. The artistic duo also have a habit of rendering characters in backgrounds without any facial expression at all which is a little unnerving at times. The colors by Bevard and Arciniega are bright and vibrant, boldly showing Wonderland through a steampunk lens.

Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 is another entry in the Zenescope universe that seeks to change the perception of the Alice in Wonderland mythos. Alice is a strong and capable inventor who must rely on her creativity to get out of a dangerous new world. The script by Fassett is pretty savvy in how it treats Alice, giving her full control over her own destiny. The artwork by Salonga and Casas is pretty solid and offers a slightly different look at familiar territory. Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 is an interesting one-shot that gives readers a new look at a familiar character and setting.

Grimm Fairy Tales Steampunk: Alice in Wonderland #1 is available now.

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