Zenescope Entertainment 2019
Written by Ben Meares
Illustrated by Allan Otero
Coloured by Ceci De la Cruz
Lettered by Maurizio Clausi (Arancia Studio)
Gretel’s story has been more of a nightmare than a fairy tale ever since the tragic events of her childhood. These events have left her life cursed for many centuries. After her heart-wrenching debut in Grimm Universe Presents, Gretel has been gifted the power of premonition. But when she has a psychic vision foretelling the end of the world, Gretel must open old wounds if she wants to try and prevent it from coming true.
This was a bit of a surprise for me and for a change it is a surprise that I actually enjoy! There are a few aspects of this that are familiar and I like that, parts of this made me think of Supernatural when Dean was turned into a kid to be eaten. This makes it easier to relate to regardless of who you are because essentially we’ve all heard the story or stories as the case may be. That this is dark and twisted fits right into the Zenescope line of books beautifully. Much like Robyn, Red or Liesel she’s somewhat more than the others. The powers make sense and it has this tragic kind of back story so that while she’s not a super-hero she has that kind of aura about her. So any way you feel like slicing the pie you will find it incredibly relatable to.
I will say I do not like the bustier knickers-straps there is no need to over sexualise her here and it’s just shame that has been. I realise that the higher ups aren’t grown ups but hey. I like that Ben does bring us here origin story here in the way that it was presented is fantastic. The way the book is structured and how we get to see the ebb & flow of the story and how it’s all just got this easy way about it. The present to flashback to present is done extremely well and that’s something trips up a lot of writers but the segue here is sensational.
Allan my man you are a stunning visual artist so that when I see a few mistakes like body proportions looking off I scratch my head. There are times when Gretel’s arms/hands just don’t match up. Then on the opposite side that first look at the witch who made her who she is, that over the shoulder turn and the crazy amount of detail work that’s in that page is an oh my holy hell. Some of the best work here is the black and white with shades of grey and red. Overall the utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective show off this stellar eye for storytelling. The way backgrounds are utilised and seeing the city but having that blurred blew me away. The colour work here is outstanding and when wee the magic, the symbols and the blue well it pops in every single way that is absolutely should.
The characterisation here is much more than I was anticipating. I like the idea behind Gretel and how her powers came to be. The victim mentality and being so young as to not understand what was done to her could be dealt with and change her into something more. That is another relatable thing as they delve into her past and her relationship with her mentor. You get the sense that there is so much presented and yet so much that still remains hidden from view and that means there is that much more to explore as the story arcs continue.
Now he outfit choices aside this is an exciting new series with a new character that combines strong, intelligent storytelling and some sensational interior artwork that show off the company’s commitment to bringing us high quality storytelling.