Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights One-Shot

Clearly, the people of Earth need help defending themselves, as it seems we're one alien invasion away from being destroyed. Whether or not we have a super team to get us through the dark times remains to be seen, but in the Zenescope universe, a team of being assembled that will save the day. Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights One-Shot is the introduction to that team.

The issue is written by Pat Shand, with pencils by Noah Salonga and Wagner Souza, colors by Jeff Balke and letters by Jim Campbell.

During a United Nations meeting, a group of powerful entities make their way through a portal. Cindy, Nox, a necromancer and Grendel are rampaging through the UN meeting room, demanding money and a jet. This prompts the US government to assemble a team of Realm Knights comprising of Sela Mathers, Shang, Hecate, Hook, Red and Robyn Hood. These powerful beings are trusted with saving the day and--of course--looking good while doing it.

Team-ups are becoming all the rage these days and there are hints of The Avengers in this issue. Shand seems to draw on the film by uniting the Realm Knights (with costumes and code names a la X-Men: First Class) in a similar fashion: use them to get out of a jam and kill them when they get out of line. The comparison is readily apparent (fairly or unfairly) and drives the entire issue.

While the end game of the one-shot may be to set up the new ongoing series, there are some parts that seem a little off. For instance, Cindy just wants a jet and money, but the reason is never explained. The government agents bring in Robyn Hood in cuffs, but then don't want to leave the scene as they don't want to leave "soldiers" behind. Some of the dialogue is a little corny as well, with some panels losing effectiveness with some line of dialogue inserted.

Pencils by Salonga and Souza are actually pretty good. They handle the action sequences very well and let the characters showcase their powers. Panel layouts are standard, with a few insets splashed in. The transition from one artist to the next looks pretty obvious as well, with the styles offering slightly different styles. The first half of the book looks more refined while the second half of the book looks a little scratchier. One isn't necessarily better than the other, but the difference is noticeable.

Zenescope's universe is poised to go crazy this year, so it only makes sense that they get a super team to help reign in all the madness. The team of Realm Knights looks to be formidable enough, comprising of some of Zenescope's heavy-hitters. The one-shot introduction issue does feature some awkward dialogue and transitions and character motivations that are erratic. It's worth checking out if you want a bit more backstory for the Unleashed storyline or you like any (or all) of the characters involved.

Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights One-Shot is in stores May 29.