The last volume of Grimm finished in a climactic battle that left the status quo of Arcane Acre all shot to hell. Those kind souls at Zenescope have managed to bring everyone up to speed with a handy recap page. Even though things have changed, they have also stayed the same.
Skye Matthews is the new Guardian of the Nexus, the Earth that connects the Four Realms of Power. Now armed with a mystic book and forewarned to start at the beginning, Skye gets pulled into a Red Riding Hood variant. As Skye discovers, there is a Red Hood and there is definitely a wolf, but from there things do get a little Grimm.
Joe Brusha writes a story that has all the hallmarks of what you expect to get in a Zenescope book. There is magic, college students, monsters and improbable costumes. Brusha has a tough time in this issue, if the truth be told. Firstly, he is following Pat Shand as writer; Shand who was a mainstay author of a number of Grimm books. Secondly, there has been a major upheaval in the Grim world; we have seen futures of a number of characters, so is Brusha just left with joining the dots? Brusha does an admirable job. The book is engaging from the state, mainly out of curiosity before the main part of the story kicks in. Skye was never may favourite of characters in the first volume, but here she is well served with a task that requires her attention. The final difficulty of the book is that the throwaway characters have to have a life, we have to care about them. Again, Brusha does ok in this regard, before moving into dire warnings mode.
Art is supplied by Ediano Silva and despite the “house style” elements that seem to accompany Zenescope book, I have to say, there is some quality art on show. Looking at the book, there are different environments to contend with, along with some dialogue heavy pages. Silva handles these challenges well throughout the book. Some of the camera angles may lack a certain panache when it comes to placement, which can give the appearance of flat panels, yet the art within is of such good quality this is easily forgive especially as it doesn’t detract from the flow of the story. As this is a Zenescope book, you just know that the colors will be fantastic and Ivan Nunes more than lives up to his responsibilities. Another foible of Zenescpe is variant covers, and you could do much worse than pick up the David Finch cover, with its Little Red Ridding Hood allegory.
Detractors of Zenescope may complain that for all the hoopla of the closure of the previous volume there seems to be a lack of ramifications. There may also be some comments about Skye’s outfit. In defence of Zenescope, I will say that this is only the first issue of the new volume, so I am grateful that Brusha is trying to keep his (Ouija?) cards close to his chest. As for the outfits, initially I was a little thrown by it to be honest. However, upon reflection, it is not to dissimilar to a certain Amazonian. All in all, I am quietly impressed by the overall standard of Zenescope books, my only wish is that they finally take that next step up in their game and receive more than just a passing glance on the comic book shelf.
Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
Cover (David Finch) – 5 Stars
(W) Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco