Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Realm Knights #1

"I'm sorry...which branch did you say you're representing?"

Team-ups are all the rage these days, with publishers bringing together all their big guns onto one super team to fight an immeasurable evil. Zenescope is jumping into the fray with Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Realm Knights #1, a brand new, four-issue miniseries that looks to get readers a new glimpse of the Zenescope universe.

The new offering is written by Pat Shand, illustrated by Butch Mapa, colored by Kevin Volo and lettered by Jim Campbell.

What do you get when you bring together a series of classic fairy tale heroes? Well, first you get the Zenescope universe. Second, you get a new super-team, with Robyn Hood, Agent Hook, Agent Red Riding Hood, Liesel Van Helsing and Agent Snow make up the Realm Knights. Calling them a bunch of misfits would be an understatement, but still the team is tasked with preventing someone evil from getting some powerful weapons. What's sure to follow are hijinks of a fairy tale nature.

At this point, it's easy to call Shand the architect of the Zenescope universe. He's had his hands (words?) in just about everything new that the publisher has been putting out, so it makes perfect sense that he's handling the writing. And he maintains his sense of humor in Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Realm Knights #1, primarily channeled through Robyn Hood. Dialogue is much improved over some of his earlier efforts with the publisher and the first issue here doesn't really waste words. He also does a great job getting readers up to speed with all the main players with "agent reveals." There's a lot of referencing other works in Zenescope, so those snippets make it easy for new readers to jump on, but they're not presented in a way that feels like a cheap way to move the story.

Mapa's art fits in well with the Zenescope look. Characters are well done and Zenescope fans will easily recognize some of their favorites. There are some facial expressions that look a little too simplistic, which detracts a little bit from the overall art. The big team reveal shot towards the end focuses more on the characters than the background, which is something that runs throughout the entire book. Mapa focuses more on characters than settings, with even the final few pages setting up the next issue a little lacking in detail.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Realm Knights #1 is a pretty solid start to a new, four-issue miniseries. The book is carried primarily by Shand's writing, which is pretty tight and offers some believable dialogue. The art is a little oversimplified, which doesn't hurt the book, but it's not amazing either. Still though, fans of the Zenescope universe will definitely want to pick this one up. On the flipside, new readers could definitely use this as something of a primer to get into the universe.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Realm Knights #1 is available now with interiors below.