The line between television and comics continues to blur as TV’s Grimm becomes a comic book!
Previously in GRIMM: Set in the world of the acclaimed NBC series, Grimm, Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police Bureau learns he is descended from a line of guardians known as Grimms, charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures called “Wesen.” Beginning this issue, Kelly (Nick’s mom) begins her quest to destroy the Coins of Zakynthos.
IT’S A BIG RISK TO ADAPT A TV SHOW OR MOVIE
I’m always nervous when I read a novel or a comic based on a movie or television show. There are a great many pitfalls one encounters in this process. For instance, someone working on a book often doesn’t know what’s going to take place until he or she actually sees it, causing a serious lapse in time between the two formats. Sometimes they will be years apart, making it tough to remember exactly what was going on during the time period being written about. I prefer to read about something as current as possible.
This book is actually really up to date regarding where everyone is. I loved that! I just saw this week’s new episode (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET), and it’s very close. They did a smart thing by avoiding Nick’s girlfriend altogether since she’s in flux on the series.
Another problem is dealing with actors and their likenesses. Often artists have to run their interpretations past the networks and the actors to get approval, and that can be a painful, extended process. This book does a good job of making the characters recognizable.
Then, too, the pacing and plots have to be adapted to the printed page, and not every series or film lends itself to that very easily.
One of Grimm’s trademarks is the Wesen head-swishing from side to side, changing from human appearance to something resembling the animal likeness that is the character’s “real” appearance. I liked how the book took care of that.
Overall, this comic did a great job of bringing this show to the local comics shop successfully!
WHO ARE THESE CHARACTERS AGAIN?
If you haven’t been watching the show, Nick Burkhardt (played by David Giuntoli) is the latest in a line of Grimms. When his aunt leaves him a boatload of books full of knowledge of the Wessen, that helps Nick balance his professional life as a police detective and a Grimm. His partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) has recently been introduced into Nick’s double life, and he’s still adjusting to the craziness involved.
One casualty of Nick’s life has been his relationship with Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch). A witch angry with Nick removed her memories of their relationship, causing Nick to step back from her. During her recovery process, it was revealed that Nick’s boss Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) is a member of an important family in the scheme of things Grimm/Wesen, and their interaction has been strained of late.
Blutbad Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Fuchsbau Rosalee (Bree Turner) — wolf-like and fox-like respectively — have become allies of Nick, helping him sort out just what’s really going on a lot of the time. It’s a very Star Trek idea, appealing to people who might be your enemies and make them friends.
Grimm also debuted around the same time as ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and both have survived and are expected back for third seasons. That’s good news for fans of fantasy!
I CAN NEVER GET GRIMM ENOUGH!
Clearly, this comic has input from the show’s creators because it is extremely true to what’s happening there. I was particularly fascinated to see the return of Nick’s mother, someone we haven’t seen much of since the early episodes of the show’s second season. The coins are also an important part of Grimm lore I wanted to see.
The pacing is quick and deliberate, much like the series. The art has a very dark feel, much like the show, which often has much of the action taking place at night.
It’s also a wise thing to take Nick, Monroe and Hank away from Portland and to Vienna in Europe. This way we won’t be bumping into other members of the cast before the second season draws to a close soon. That can be a very expensive notion on a TV show, new and exotic sets not to mention on-location shooting. Comics require no special-effects on location shooting budgets at all, so it’s the perfect venue to do this!
There was also the introduction of a blonde bombshell who seems to be following the trio as they seem Nick’s mother. We get a huge revelation about her on the final page of this issue, the first part of a continuing story.
When you have animalistic characters around, I expect the action to be more violent, more crude than when simply human beings involved. And this book delivers on that front as well. For instance, a rhino-like Wesen has his horn snapped off. Ouch!
BOTTOM LINE: THIS ISSUE IS ONE OF THE BEST ADAPTATIONS OF A TV SERIES EVER
On all the things that concern me — likenesses, up-to-date storylines, being true to the show on nearly every level (understanding that this is the printed page and not a television screen, after all), I was impressed by Grimm #1.
I think it’s a high compliment to say that I often heard the show’s theme music, which I really like, in my head as I was reading this comic. I’m anxiously awaiting the next issue. If I’m really lucky, this book will not be a miniseries but an ongoing title that can give me my Grimm fix even when the show is on hiatus on NBC! Grimm #1 gets 5 out of 5 stars.