Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Annual
Written by: Joe Brusha
Artwork by: Eman Casallos
Colors by: Jorge Cortes
Letters by: Taylor Esposito (of Ghost Glyph Studios)
Editor: Dave Franchini
Art Direction/Design by: Christopher Cote
Available: January 23
Synopsis: With the Grail restored, Merlin has become the most powerful being in the Grimm Universe. Camelot has been restored with him as its ruler. Now, Merlin and his knights have their sights set on conquering the Earth, and only Skye and a handful of heroes can stop them.
Note: This PDF review issue of Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Annual was provided to geekXpop by Zenescope Entertainment, with no obligation to review it.
So, it’s been a while since I have reviewed a comic book here on gXp, hasn’t it? Part of it has been my ongoing mental issues and another part has been that I have been focusing on other media aspects of the geek/pop culture scene. But after reading this issue of Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Annual and seeing that this was the beginning of the Age of Camelot storyline, I really wanted to share what I think of the issues with you all. Mainly because this issue reminded me why I love the Grimm Fairy Tales universe so much as it always seems to find new and exciting ways to breathe new life into older fairy tales that we all grew up hearing.
A quick recap on what has been going on leading to this point though, in case you didn’t know, Sela Mathers, the Guardian on the Nexus, is dead. In her place is the new Guardian, her daughter Skye, who has been learning from Master Shang about her role in the Grimm Universe. Meanwhile, the powerful ancient wizard Merlin reappeared with aspirations to conquer the Grimm Universe, starting with Earth, by reforming the Grail – and he succeeded. All powerful and surrounded by loyal knights and ancient heroes and villains, he managed to defeat Skye and her allies and now has his sights set on finishing what he started: first, conquering the Earth, then to conquer the other realms of the Grimm Universe – Wonderland, Oz, Neverland, and Myst.
That quick recap also starts off the issue, which is really helpful, but goes into more detail about what is going on and who has sided with both Merlin and Skye. From there, we see the attack on London by the Green Knight, and how Merlin hopes to disrupt the Earth from fighting back by distracting them from his real plans. Meanwhile, Skye and a handful of others managed to survive Merlin’s previous attack and set off to stop him from conquering the other realms, even as the attack on London is leading to huge casualties. But the heroes carry on, even after suffering some pretty serious injuries, and separate in order to take advantage of Merlin splitting his forces. But with Merlin distracted, his forces split, and the heroes making a renewed push to stop them, will it be enough or are they just destined to fail again before Merlin and the power of the Grail? That’s pretty much how this issue goes down. Now…
While I am a fan of Joe Brusha as a writer, sometimes he seems like a little to “by-the-numbers” kind of writer. Not that there is anything wrong with that, and it works for him and the writing stylings of the Grimm Fairy Tales universe, but when big issues like this one are released, I wish he would step up his game a little more to really bring these big events to life. The story is great as it is, with an amazing concept that I really have enjoyed up to this point – I just was hoping for a little more as this is the start of the conclusion to one of the better storylines the company has produced in a while. The writing isn’t bad, it just doesn’t quite capture the scale that I would have expected for this issue. And that is the weakest point of the issue.
In contrast, the artwork in this issue is superb – which should come as no surprise as I have always felt that the artwork that Zenescope artists have produced is one of the strongest points that the company has. And the team of Eman Casallos and Jorge Cortes (the artist and colorist, respectively) manages to really pop in this issue. From single character panels to the massive battles going on in the London scenes, the images the team produced for this issue illustrate perfectly why I feel so strongly about the artists the company employs. Specifically, page 30 of the issue is a prime example of the beauty the art team is capable of presenting to the reader. That page really jumps out at me and I wish I could get that as a poster to hang on my wall.
All in all, from the story to the writing to the artwork, this is a fun issue to read that reminds me why I am such a huge fan of Zenescope and the kind of stories they bring to the medium. They’re not Marvel or DC, but that is their greatest strength as they are free to create whole new worlds that are free of those kinds of popular restrictions in comic books. They do horror and heroes differently, with different rules, and this makes their stories, like the Age of Camelot story being featured here, more engaging and free than what you would get from other publishers. And even though I felt that the writing for this issue was the weakest point, it is still a lot stronger than what I have seen in recent months from other published books. Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Annual is a fun read as one of the better stories in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe comes to an end, and I highly recommend picking up this issue.