Zenescope Entertainment 2018
Written by Dave Franchini
Illustrated by Bong Dazo
Coloured by Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Lettered by Kurt Hathaway
The Grimm Universe is filled with heroes far and wide dealing with all kinds of threats, from vampires and werewolves to corrupt government organizations and ancient orders battling for control of the realms of power. But what lies in the deepest corners of our world could give the evilest creature nightmares. A threat since the beginning of time is rising, and only one person will be there to stop it from destroying everything. Introducing the newest ally in the war of monsters: Belle the Beast Hunter!
The whole concept of this book is great and I am kind of surprised that it took so long for this to come about. Dave is a great choice for this series too he’s got a good strong sense when it comes to storytelling and how to weave in not just personality growth and characterisation through dialogue and action but he’s also got a huge inventory of stories with Zenescope and he’s found how to really get in touch with the darker recesses of his mind and imagination.
So we pick up where the last issue left as as Belle came home to discover that it had been attacked and the attacker was still there. As she crashed into the sea below is where pick up this issue. Personally I am always happy to see that instead of jumping ahead with a flashback that always seemed like the writer didn’t know how to get out of the situation and backtracked once they had. Actually this gives Dave a great opportunity to show off Belle, her intelligence, personality and survival skills so that we can get a much better look at what she’s like and capable of. I like it I think it’s incredibly well done and gives us a lot in the amount of time.
There’s another aspect of this that I really liked as well. In what at first appeared to be a flashback we learn what Belle does for a living outside of fighting monsters oh and her best friend to boot. It is always a nice thing to get to know a character outside the outfit even if that turns out to be not what we think it is. Yes we are getting to know her and her life and yes it isn’t what it appears to be but the memory or experiences she’s having at this moment are genuine reflections of her life. I like how it is presented and the effect it has upon the reader it’s extremely well done by Dave.
The interiors here are fantastic. The attention to detail here very nice to see as well at the imagination and creativity on display. Getting to see the sea creature, it’s spit ups and then the woman in her dream/memory yeah it is some killer stuff. The whole thing makes me thing superhero genre and for what this that is excellent. The use of page layouts so that we see the perspective and angles in the panels shows a strong eye for storytelling. Ideally I would like to see more backgrounds but they seem to be dying out so I’m not holding my breath but they do expand the story beautifully.
So the last page is either Candlestick or her mother or both or neither. Personally I thought Candlestick was a man, don’t know why just did however it wouldn’t surprise me if it were her mother, grandmother or some such relative. So the mystery of who this is should be revealed next issue. In the meantime I really do like this book and it’s place in the Zenescope Universe where it fits the next wave of intelligent superhero-esque comics.