The Picture of Dorian Gray


Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales has undergone quite a change since the Belinda came on the scene.  Instead of telling morality plays like Sela, the tales spun in these tales are quite dark – instead of helping people, the tales are being used to make people’s lives even worse.  Issue #35 is not exception as readers get a modern take on the Picture of Dorian Gray.

grimmfairytales35cover.jpgLike a twisted tale from the Twilight Zone, this issue finds an up and coming rock star getting his portrait painted by his very young, and very hot girlfriend.  Readers know right away that something strange is afoot, when Stephanie makes a deal with Belinda to have Don’s picture age for him, while he reaps the benefit of being a world famous rock star.  Of course making a deal with Belinda comes with a cost — Stephanie must make blood sacrifices to an Egyptian idol to keep the spell intact.

Before you can blink an eye (or turn the page in this case) thirteen years have passed, and Don’s still as young and popular as he once was, while his friends and fellow rockers pass away.  There are indications that perhaps a few of Don’s friends may have met their fate at the hands of his girlfriend, but Don appears to be too preoccupied with fame and the love of his life to see the forest for the trees.

Unfortunately, Stephanie is only making the bare minimum number of sacrifices, and as readers have learned, you shouldn’t make Belinda angry.  Belinda is able to get Don’s ears for a few moments while she recounts the the Picture of Dorian Gray tale.  It’s enough for Don to rush home to confront Stephanie, who has just made another sacrifice.  Horrified, Don shatters the idol, and destroys his portrait, but not before the double whammy is revealed — one ages, while the other is decimated.  And just like an episode of Tales from the Crypt, Belinda is there as the police try to clean up the mess, to pass along the idols curse to another unsuspecting person.

While this series has become a typical by the numbers tale; set up the plot, tell a fairy tale, wrap it up with a twist, I like how the writers are continuously able to make the tales enjoyable.  There have been some rather graphic displays of violence in some of the more recent issues, but in Dorian Gray, wrier Dan Wickline is able to keep the graphic violence to a minimum.

Readers familiar with this series, know a lot of the art tends to swing toward the good girl side of the aisle with many scantily clad women, sexual innuendoes, and the like, and while there are certainly some moments of debauchery, especially during the Dorian Gray sequence, those moments are toned down to the point of of being pretty tame.  That being said, Axel Machain’s art is very good, and the colors by Jason Embury are great as readers are taken from the present to olden times and back again.

If you are looking for an new title to jump on to, and you like the horror/thriller genre, Grimm Fairy Tales is a good series to check out.  As far as jumping on points go, readers don’t need to know the whole story behind Sela and Belinda, so issue #35 is just as good a place as any to check out the series.  I liked Grimm Fairy Tales #35 enough to give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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