REVIEW: Grimm Fairy Tales: Van Helsing One Shot

Written by David Wohl
Art by Anthony Spay
Covers by Sean Chen, Pasquale Qualano, Mike Krome and Mike S. Miller

Suffering a “major” loss in her battle with the vampires, Liesel Van Helsing decides to go all H.G. Wells using a time machine to try a little bit of Sam Beckett but instead ends up in Back to the Future part two territory.  From here things get progressively worse for her.

Zenescope are pretty good at this sort of stuff….usually.  There will always be an air of suspension of disbelief in comic books. The fact that Liesel wears fishnets and fight vampires somehow seems ok thanks to possibly more popular characters such as Zatanna and Buffy who may have made certain aspects the norm.  Unfortunately, the same can not be said with Liesel’s  ability to build a time machine.  Even the script kind of loses its internal logic with its ” I’ve got a touch of magic” statement.

As such, writer David Wohl lets the side down.  I may have been critical of usual Grimm writer Pat Shand, but with Shand you do get a sense of a long game interspersed with set pieces.  Here Wohl, whether restricted by the one shot format or not, seems to ply set piece on top of set piece.  The book also sways from inner monologue to verbose speech bubbles, both of which spend more time scenery chewing rather than character developing.

Anthony Spay produces a mixed bag on art chores.  On one hand, he manages to show emotions through strong facial expressions, but on the other, some of the action panels tend to use poor angles resulting in postures looking out of perspective.  This  tends to give the book an uneven feel.  In addition, there are three-time periods in play, yet there is no real changes to backgrounds on a basic level.

This book, I think, fails in most of its aims.  It’s supposed to be a one shot book, but be warned, that is not the case.  So if you are looking a complete story you may feel a tad disappointed.  It’s supposed to be a 10th Anniversary Special.  Unfortunately its a lot less than special.  This is a real shame, as I had been quite enjoying some of the other Zenescope books.

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