Sometimes time just gets away from us. That is when we have to take the time, sort our huge stack of comics, and dig in to our reviewing duties. This week is no different. Zenescope Entertainment has put out some amazing books in the last several weeks and I have reviews of them most of them right here for you in Just Another Zenescope Monday. Why? Because I love comics and I want you to love them, too. LOVE THEM!
Another big obstacle and endeavor of that last few weeks has been getting the new website up and running. You would not believe how much work goes into this kind of thing. I would imagine that it is almost as much work as Zenescope goes through in getting new titles out. Like this week, as we get to review several new first issues as well as a whole slew of other books since I have some catching up to do. Plus, we get to see what happens as Realm War picks up after the climactic conclusion of the first 100 issues of Grimm Fairy Tales… but I get ahead of myself. I have a ton of comics to review and I know you want to know what’s going on.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Warlord of Oz #3 – The events of this story take place after Oz Volume One. The Warlord has come to Oz, wielding dark magics and devastating the countryside, he has killed Glinda, but not before she could pull Dorothy back into Oz. Will Dorothy realize her true power in time? In this issue, Dorothy meets Smynth who helps them take out the nasty Skarabs that have attacked and slaughtered people across Oz. Smynth, while a mouse, is also a shapeshifter and powerful wizard and leads Dorothy on a journey of self discovery that will take them into a dark part of Oz, the land of Zamoran, the former home of the arch-witch Zamora, deceased mother of the wicked witches that Dorothy has already defeated. Smynth teaches her about magic and how the power comes from within her and not some scepter or wand. Meanwhile, the good heroes of Oz travel to face the armies of the Warlord, finding nothing but death and devastation. The are in time to save two of their friends, but in the end, they may not be so lucky as they come face to face with the evil of the Warlord. My Rating – 4/5
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Warlord of Oz #4 – Dorothy Gale has been having terrible dreams about being corrupted by, or possessed through, the magic of Oz. In these dreams, she destroys her friends and enjoys it. This is troubling her terribly, but she is really not sure what to make of it as she wakes and continues her journey with Smynth. This journey includes many exercises to help Dorothy focus the power that she is able to call on. As they encounter a place where Skarabs have trampled, Smynth calls on Dorothy to use magic to revive the plants. As she opens herself to the green magic of the earth that is powerful in Oz, Dorothy skillfully wields the power to rejuvenate the plants… although maybe without as much control as she should have, as the plants grow and burst. This is the point where Smynth teaches Dorothy an important lesson about how the Green and the Black, while oppositional, are not opposites, just different sides of the same basic power, life and death. In Zamoran, the slaves of Thora and the Warlord have uncovered the body of the witch, stabbed through with a red scepter that we have seen before… in Dorothy’s dreams! Nothing good can come of this as the Warlord wrenches the staff free and calls for the slaves to be gathered because they need blood for a ritual. We even get a sort of origin story on Zamora and her evil twins. Tune in next month for the final chapter of this awesome story. My Rating: 4.5/5
Grimm Tales of Terror #1 – A new ongoing series focused on, like the title says, tales of terror. This is an interesting comic, reminiscent of the old House of Mystery or Tales from the Crypt horror comics where there is a story with a moral and there is a creepy, or in this case not so creepy, person who stops a random person and tells them a scary tale that relates to their situation. In this case, we have Richard, a man who is planning his wife’s funeral, stopped by a red headed woman sitting out side a coffee shop. She tells him a tale of a woman in a psychiatric hospital being questioned by what looks to be a doctor. This woman then proceeds to explain that she is here because she sees monsters and they don’t want her to tell anyone. She talks about her husband who was injured and then began to change. He attacked her one day and she stabbed him and suffocated him, then took the body so she could dump it in the river. She is stopped by two police officer who offer her a strange reason for pulling her over… her car was seen at a murder scene. She stated that was impossible because her husband was sick and they were at the hospital, but they are insistent. Then she begins to hear thumping in the trunk and finally shoots the cop in the head. The twist at the end is pretty cool as is the final scene after the story. This felt a little like Poe’s “The Telltale Heart.” A rec0mmended read and truly back to the roots of Zenescope. My Rating: 5/5
Grimm Fairy Tales vs. Wonderland #1 – Picking up where Wonderland #25 left off, this series will pit two of the strongest women of the Zenescope Universe against each other, Sela Mathers and Calie Liddle. Callie became the White Queen in Wonderland, now responsible for maintaining order in this world that was designed for chaos. The cool part of this story is that we see inside of the powers that Calie has developed as the White Queen. She has the power to cure the madness that has gripped the land and shows this as soldiers, the cards, come shuffling in… I know, bad joke, but still. So, how does this all involve Sela Mathers, guardian of Earth? When a portal is discovered by the still mad troops, and hordes of them cross over, Sela has to step in to keep the peace. As Sela falls down the rabbit hole, the fur will surely fly as she confronts Calie to stop this invasion. Overall a cool story and some fun interactions that we have not really seen so far. My Rating: 4/5
Grimm Fairy Tales vs. Wonderland #2 – Might as well see what happens next. What can I say, I got a little behind… Sela and Calie duke it out in quite an epic battle, smashing and blasting each other all over the place. The rabbit and Chesire figure things out pretty quickly, but are not able to dissuade either of the powerful women from trying to end the other’s existence. The solution? Throw the rabbit and jump on the librarian. Now that things have settled, the protector of Wonderland and former protector of the Nexus talk through what has been happening, the events that led Sela through the rabbit hole in the first place. Wonderland seems to be invading Earth. Sela and Calie team up to help heal more of the madness in Wonderland. In the mean time, the rest of the Spades travel through a portal and report to the Dark One. The next issue should be interesting as the Dark One is looking for someone and Sela may have found him. My Rating: 4/5
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Godstorm: Hercules Payne #5 – Welcome to the finale of this interesting series. Andre Payne was a gangbanger. One night his crew was doing a drug deal with a group led by Terrel Taylor, a big time local drug lord, when all hell broke loose. A shoot out with the cops led to the death of a police officer, an officer who just happened to be Andre’s brother. This was enough to turn Andre’s life upside down without the addition of the revelation that his father is Zeus, king of the gods. Now, Andre has chosen to use his powers of strength and control of lightning to fight for good and clean up his town. This has drawn the attention of Taylor who, given powers by the goddess Venus, has been directed to kill Payne at any cost. This is all part of Venus’ ploy to hurt Zeus and stir up trouble on Earth. The final battle between Taylor and Payne is a true measure of who they are as men. Zeus gets involved and the finale pages are something you should not miss. My Rating: 4.5/5
Realm War #1 – This series picks up and dusts off from the rubble of Grimm Fairy Tales #100. What is left of the US government hunkers in a bunker recounting the state of what is left of the world. Basically, all the realms became one and most of the Earth, as we know it, has been destroyed. All of this brought about by the Dark Queen wielding the items of power from each realm. While Red and her team fight against the Dark Horde, the Blood Knights in service to the Dark Queen are virtually unstoppable. This issue is all kinds of terrible as the Dark Queen plans sacrifices and ruin for the human race. In the end, the bunker is breached and the Horde press forward trying to wipe everyone out. One soldier escapes and finds Sela and Shang, remnants of the Realm Knights. I like this series so far, because it really seems like there cannot be any way to “solve” there problems, only survive. Stay tuned to find out what happens next. My Rating: 5/5
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Goddess, Inc. #1 – This series will focus on Venus and her machinations to raise an army of gods and goddesses to help her achieve the level of worship and authority that she enjoyed in time gone by. I am guessing this whole story takes place before Godstorm: Hercules Payne seeing the fallout of that series included Zeus and Venus having quite the falling out. Also, this must take place before Ascension for the simple fact that following that storyline Zeus is supposedly dead, or at least gone from Earth. Anyway, Venus runs a fashion company and, while many of her fellow gods see her as simply a vain and vapid bimbo promoting body image as a way of life, she has deeper objectives and will do what it takes to sway them to her side. This issue reintroduces us to many of the gods and goddesses we have seen before, although some in different roles. An interesting story, but not one I would regularly pick up, since I feel like it happened a while ago and there are so many more interesting things happening in the current times in the Zenescope Universe. My Rating: 3/5
I have to stop there for now, but I will continue with another 7 or 8 reviews next Monday and that should catch us up. Sorry for the delays, and I hope you like the new format of our site as much as we do. Please comment with any of the books you are reading right now and what you think of what is happening in the new realm of WonderMystOzEarthLand. I just made that up.