Review - Zodiac #1 (@Zenescope)

"All my life there's only been one thing I've ever been good at...killing."

Being an assassin takes a lot of weaponry. Being a good assassin takes a lot of weaponry and ability. Zodiac in Zodiac #1 from Zenescope Comics is the latter. The issue is written by Joe Brusha, illustrated by Daniel Mainé, colored by Jorge Cortes and lettered by Taylor Esposito.

As the war between Camelot and the Order of Tarot wages Merlin the Magician looks to give himself an eliminating all of his Tarot's biggest threats. And he has the perfect man for the job, a deadly magical warrior who was born to kill.

Zodiac in the issue is characterized as profoundly adept at the art of killing his targets and Brusha uses that the carry the story forward. In fact, just about the entire issue features the Zodiac killing (somewhat indiscriminately) and essentially humble-bragging about it. Brusha fills the issue with an abundance of narrative text with the Zodiac cleanly outlining his role and abilities to the reader, leaving little for them to do other than to read along. There's a tie-in to the Grimm Fairy Tales universe at large of sorts as well as Brusha ensures that Camelot and the Order of Tarot are at the center of the conflict that Zodiac has thrust himself into. The end of the issue feels sufficient enough to set things up going forward.

Mainé imbues Zodiac with a sterling physique befitting an assassin of his caliber and ability. This is very much a superhero book, with Mainé having plenty of chances to showcase Zodiac in the midst of various gun-battles and sword-fights as he seeks to accomplish his mission. Mainé does some interesting layouts with the panels; most pages boast standard insets and overlays. There are some panels that fit together like puzzles to indicate the fractured nature of memories for instance. Cortes' colors are very rich and emphatic.

Zodiac #1 is a first issue that seeks to establish a new player for Zenescope. Zodiac is a skilled assassin with a penchant for finding himself in the thick of battles--usually on the winning side. Brusha's script is straightforward and informative, giving the reader all the necessary information to make sure they know what's going on. The artwork by Mainé is sufficient for giving the reader enough visual context to keep up with all the action. Zodiac #1 is worth a read if you're pretty invested in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe.

Zodiac #1 is available February 20.