Review - Cinderella #1

"Okay, I know I look crazy here, but I pinky swear...I know what I'm doing."

It's a good bet that even if you don't have one, you know that a glass slipper probably isn't the most comfortable footwear to make your way around in. Cinderella used it as a means of finding her soul mate, but that's really about all it's good for. Cinderella herself still shows some resolve in wearing it, even if she doesn't wear it in Cinderella #1 from Zenescope; instead, showing resolve of a different sort. The issue is written by Pat Shand, illustrated by Ryan Best, colored by Renato Guerra and lettered by Jim Campbell.

In the aftermath of Realm War, Earth has been devastated by the convergence of Oz, Wonderland, Neverland and Myst. That event wiped out every god save for Hades, who's now a target for the Dark Queen. She tasks that assassination with Cinderella (Cindy as her friends call her), a somewhat sociopathic sorority girl who isn't really liked by those around her. Using three special items, she's out to prove that she can be the killer the Dark Queen needs, proving everyone else wrong in the process.

Zenescope has put a lot of faith in Shand, entrusting him to be the prevailing architect of the entire universe. That offers the works a lot in the way of continuity and makes him a pretty good choice to introduce Cinderella to readers. Shand pitches her as unhinged, imbuing her with a lot of Harley Quinn and capitalizing on that recklessness to make the book feel lighter in tone. Most of the Zenescope universe has been hurtling towards mass destruction, so offering a take in the aftermath that's a lot more comedic is a welcome change that reminds readers of the levity in the universe. Cinderella needs to be validated by those around her, even though she's very high up in Dark Queen's food chain, which is refreshing as she's clearly a flawed protagonist.

Cinderella #1 bears a look by Best that fits right in with the Zenescope universe. Characters like the Dark Queen and Malec are already familiar to readers and Best maintains that recognizable look well that maintains a level of continuity. Cinderella's fabled blonde hair is on full display, accompanied by the typically vivacious and over-exaggerated physique that readers expect from Zenescope books. The finish of the illustrations feels shiny and Guerra's colors are fairly even and showcase some sense of being washed out at points (in a way that works). There are some solid, full-panel illustrations peppered throughout the book as well that give readers a glimpse into the more sadistic aspects of Cinderella's mind.

Cinderella #1 is an entertaining entry in Zenescope's massive crossover that actually holds its own as a standalone issue. Sure, it helps to be aware of the Realm War event and its consequences, as it will give Cinderella's decisions more context, but it's not required reading at all. Shand's got a very good feel for characters and events in the Zenescope universe, embodying Cinderella with a lot of flair for the dramatic and a wild unpredictability. Best's illustrations fit the Zenescope style, yet still manage to feel unique and further liven up the already zany story. Cinderella #1 is actually a lot of fun and worth checking out for a slightly demented take on a very familiar character.

Cinderella #1 is in stores November 5.