A new Grimm Fairy Tales kicks off this week, and it features a cute girl from under the sea. Will this turn into a mess of cheesecake art, or will the story propel us forward? Major Spoilers reviews Grimm Fairy Tales: The Little Mermaid #1 from Zenescope Entertainment.
GRIMM FAIRY TALES: THE LITTLE MERMAID #1
Writer: Joe Brusha and Meredith Finch
Artist: Miguel Mendonca
Colorist: Ivan Nunes
Letterer: Ghost Glyph Studios
Editor: Nicole Glade
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in The Little Mermaid: This is the first issue in this five issue mini-series, but I’m going to bet this has little to no connection with the Hans Christen Andersen’s tale as that was purchased by Walt Disney many decades ago…
NOT SO FAST…
It’s interesting that this story starts out very similar to the Disney movie, with a woman falling overboard in the middle of a storm, only to be rescued by someone who quickly swims away. The role reversal is a nice touch, and as we soon discover, the encounter Ms. Fisher (get it?) had with the merman did bear fruit, and 20 years later, we get to find out what happened to her daughter.
As is often the case when something new is discovered, there are those that want to capture and study merpeople. This story focuses on Erica, a captured mermaid, and the tests being performed on her. The most interesting thing about Joe Brusha and Meredith Finch’s change is what happens when Erica is put under extreme stress. I’ll say this about the change in the mythology, Ursula would never had survived if Ariel had these powers.
Though the story can’t follow too closely to the source material or the animated movie, there is a sea witch, a promise made, and Ms. Fisher’s quest to find her daughter. There is an odd appeal in the story of a mother trying to find and save her daughter even amid the sexy-sexy art that Zenescope is known for. The time crunch, and life threatening tests being performed on Erica that is going to propel readers into the next issue, and I’m hoping to see a little bit more than people standing around chatting in the next issue.
WITH LEGS AND NO SEASHELLS
As previously mentioned, Zenescope Entertainment is known for filling the pages with art of slim women and sexy men running around on beaches or swimming in water. This issue is no exception as even the sea witch looks like she stepped out of a
Victoria’s Cthulhu’s Secret catalog. There is nothing wrong with the direction and style the company has taken to tell its stories, but in a day and age where body image issues are a recurring topic of conversation, it would have been nice to see someone who didn’t fall into to the beautiful people norm.
With that said, the art is very well done, the characters are on model throughout the issue, and Miguel Mendonca has a great grasp of composition and layout throughout the issue. I do like monster moment, which was a bit of a surprise and had me rereading those pages a few times. Coloring for the issue is also well done, and though there are quite a few digitally rendered lens flares, they weren’t overly distracting during the prison sequences.
The one thing I did find odd was in the way Erica was portrayed in the issue. When she is in the water, she has the mer-tail we expect, as well as two well placed seashells covering her breasts. When she climbs out of the water, the tail melts away into a pair of legs, which is a very Daryl Hannah thing to do, and is probably tied to the romantic pairing between the land dweller and the merman who saved her. However, there is no explanation why Erica’s seashells disappear, leaving her completely naked in front of the all male scientist team.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT WHAT I EXPECTED
Zenescope Entertainment always does a good job in telling a tale that flips expectations on what reader perceive the story to be on first glance. I am interested in the relationship between Ms. Fisher and the merman, whether she will cut a deal with the sea witch, and most importantly her race to save her daughter. The art, while very well done, become a distraction in places, and pulled me out of the world that is being created. Perhaps my concerns/questions will be addressed in the next issue, but for now I think it actually hurts the overall story. This is definitely an issue that is worth picking up if for no other reason than to see some of the Little Mermaid tropes flipped around.