Welcome to another week of Just Another Zenescope Monday, which you can tweet about at #JAZM. This installment will be a catch up on Grimm Fairy Tales and Wonderland and a review of this week’s Grimm Tales of Terror #9. I hope you enjoy these short reviews and previews. I try to tell you all I can about each book and help you understand the storyline without spoiling the newest issue for you. Let me know what you think.
Grimm Fairy Tales #s 103, 104, 105, 107, and 108
Quite a few issues to look at this week as I finish my catch up of this series. Issue #108 comes out this week, so I will makes sure you have all the backstory. We know that the events of the Realm War are a thing of the past in the current GFT series, so we are functioning in the future with a lot of gaps to fill in. Currently, Sela Mathers and a group of powerful Highbornes, including Shang and Belinda, have created a new sanctuary, Arcane Acre, a place to train and protect the young Highbornes as they prepare them to become a sort of replacement for the now defunct Realm Knights. This motley group of young people has their own set of troubles to deal with. Makes for some interesting stories.
Issue #103 launches us into a new story set in Arcane Acre. We get to learn more about Belinda, the former villain. Belinda was an assassin for the Horde, doing Malec’s evil bidding, because they held her son. When she left, because she wanted to be good, she found Skylar, the girl who turned out to be Sela’s daughter. Skylar had also been taken by the Horde and raised by Venus, until Venus was killed. At that point, she escaped. This relationship between her and Belinda became stronger as they took care of each other during a time when they were both hunted by the Horde.
Now, while Skylar tells her classmates about her time with Belinda, Malec comes to Belinda’s chambers and offers her a proposition. If she were to go kill Sela Mathers right now, Malec would take her to her son. As they head to Sela’s room, Belinda detours to the library where all of the children are gathered for Skylar’s story. Belinda immediately attacks Violet Liddle, the daughter of the White Queen of Wonderland. She is the one who created the apparition of Malec as a test. Not a good thing to do.
Meanwhile, in the courtyard, water nymphs rise from the pool and call for Hailey. This leads right into the new story in #104. Hailey’s family has returned to reclaim her. Her friends try to stop them, but both Wulf and Skylar are pulled along to Neverland.
We flashback a couple of months to when Hailey was admitted to Arcane Acre and we get a little background on her. A water nymph that thought she was a human girl, she has never been to Neverland. She lived with her father and things were fine until, on her sixteenth birthday, there was a catastrophe. Her powers developed and some of her friends payed with their lives. Now, she has been sent to Arcane Acre to be taught who she is and how to control her powers.
Now, the water nymphs are at war with the sirens in Neverland and her mother needs Hailey to help. Not to wage war, but to gather the nymphs and head to Earth to find the hidden kingdom of Atlantis. Hailey refuses, but as her and her schoolmates prepare to leave, the siren’s attack. Sela shows up to whisk them off to safety, but Wulf is lost in the fray. Issue #105 shows us the results of Wulf being left to fend for himself. Heads do roll and many a siren feels his steel. Sela returns and blasts them back to their watery home.
One lone siren attacks Hailey’s mother and they both fall through the portal back to Arcane Acre. As the siren heads for Hailey, her mother tries to stop it but is killed right in front of her. She lashes out with power she never knew she had, first freezing the siren and then shattering it with a sonic blast. The fallout from all of this is that Sela and Shang are worried about the security of their school but also about things that Druanna has not been telling them. How will this impact their future?
Issue #106 deals with the fallout from Violet’s little charade. You can read the review here.
A new storyline kicks off in #107, “Burn Your Life Down”. Many of the personal issues that each student is dealing with are coming to the surface as they spend more time together and get more comfortable with each other. Sela is truly disturbed by the fact that Skylar feels like Belinda is more of mother to her than she has been. Sela understands the sentiment, but this was still hard to hear. Ali and Skylar are growing closer, and as they head to the courtyard to study, Ali makes a strange discovery. Hailey’s mother, or at least her spirit, still roams the halls where she was killed.
With Wulf gone, Hailey is trying to cope by writing to an anonymous chat site. Getting her thoughts down about everything and everyone. Sure, no harm in that, right? We shall see.
Sela is called off for a meeting with the former Hibocorp soldiers, Jessica Ciampo and Adam. They have been trying to get a group together to help new Highbornes and bring them to safety. Now they need Sela’s help.They are currently tracking three very high powered Highbornes. Some may be dangerous, but they want Sela to go with them to help with Kiera, the phoenix.
Ali reveals to Skylar that his power is the ability to see ghosts and interact with them. That is why he saw Hailey’s mother. He also asks for Skylar’s help on his Specialized Skill midterm, Summoning a Benevolent Spirit. He did say benevolent, right? Unfortunately, Violet walks in the room as he is casting the spell and gets hit with a mysterious bolt.
So, new this week, #108 tells us that Sela was able to help Kiera Carmen, the phoenix, and pull her out of whatever vortex she was stuck in. Now she is at Arcane Acre to learn who she is and what she can do and, hopefully, be able to control it. Of course, Jessica Ciampo was none too happy about that.
On a creepier note, it looks like Ali summoned a “malevolent” spirit instead of a benevolent one, the Mad Hatter now roams the halls of Arcane Acre. This issue is bound to be one crazy ride, more fun than a room full of hatters. I can’t spoil this one for you, because so much happens, but you will be glad you read it… and next issue: Beowulf! Pat Shand continues to do a stellar job on this series, revealing just enough to keep us guessing. Keep up the great work. My Rating: 4.5/5
I know it is a little late for the Holiday edition review, but it has to be done. This year, we get the origin of the Krampus, the evil monster that kills wicked little children at Christmas time. Such a wonderful fairy tale. A long time ago, in the town of Lidich in Myst, there was a great man who took care of the city, Andrzej. He was known far and wide for his honor and his mercy. But he was about to be tested.
Upon reports of thieves from the north, Andrzej and Elis travel the road, looking out for their town. On the road they meet a poor looking man who asks for a bed for the night. Andrzej offers him a room at the inn, regardless of Elis’ concerns. And her concerns are proved true as Andrzej later catches the man trying to kidnap one of the children from Lidich. He and Elis are able to stop him, but Andrzej will not allow the man to be killed and instead he was sentenced to work in the fields, but the Festival of Ice is the opportunity that the stranger was waiting for. Andrzej’s daughter is taken and the people are too afraid of a make believe creature called Koteus.
Turns out that Koteus is not quite as make believe as Andrzej believed, and facing the creature is the only way to save his daughter. Running parallel to this story is Sela’s hunt for her own daughter as she runs through the woods and comes upon Krampus. The end of both of these stories is both sad and yet has a glint of hope. While this is not an integral book in the series, it is still a very interesting story and gives some insight into how Sela sees herself. My Rating: 4/5
This series is really awesome. I love the stand alone stories, but I also love the Grimm Reaper in all her red-headed glory. This issue, new this week, is all about the story of the insane mental patient with a hook for a hand, the urban legend, but, as always, there is a twist. I really enjoy the way that Gerardo Preciado put this story together, showing us how sometimes the human monster is worse than the inhuman one. Two kids running away from home together become the target of a maniac. Will they survive? You will not believe the truth behind the tale. Also, the endcap story is awesome and so fitting. My Rating:4/5
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland #32 and #33
Wonderland is one of my favorite Zenescope titles. I love the madness, the darkness, but I also enjoy the battle to overcome the corruption. As Callie Liddle fights against the insanity of this world, she tries to restore order to Wonderland. In issue #32, we learn a little more about Dark Cheshire as he is called home. Upon returning to his tribe, he is judged guilty of being a creature who has forgotten his own. In order to pay for that crime, he must face the giant Lord Cheshire in a game of cat and mouse. We get an inner look into Dark Cheshire’s mind and how he feels about himself and, in the end, about how Callie feels about him.
New this week, issue #33 launches a new storyline, “The Well of Dreams”, written by Erica J. Helfin with art from Manuel Preitano. Callie is nostalgic for her life on Earth, sort of. Really more sad to see the old house go than anything, feeling that it is her last connection to the realm. Back in Wonderland, as the White Queen, she and Cheshire are on a journey to a frozen land to meet creatures call the Antipathies, ancient beings protecting a powerful artifact. Meanwhile, a red hare brings together two beings of pure evil, Deceiver and Terror, creator of nightmares. This can’t be good. They have plans for someone. Callie and Cheshire run into some trouble, to be expected, but the results are very interesting. Next issue… What dreams may come? My Rating: 4/5
That’s it for this week and I believe that this catches us all up on the current ongoing series. Sadly, this means that the regular weekly articles will be a bit shorter, but at least readable without having to take an hour out of your day. I hope you enjoy this and will like, share, and comment. Help me achieve my dreams of world domination! And thanks for being fans of Just Another Zenescope Monday.