She’s quite the beauty, hunting beasts in her poor provincial town called Philadelphia.  Your Major Spoilers review of Belle: Horns of the Minotaur #1 from Zenescope Entertainment awaits!


Writer: Dave Franchini
Penciler: Raffaele Forte
Inker: Sara Ianniello
Colorist: Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Letterer: Kurt Hathaway
Editor: Dave Franchini
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: November 11, 2020

Previously in Belle: Horns of the MinotaurBelle is a beast hunter, a legacy passed down from mother to daughter in her family for generations.  With that duty she has taken on many different kinds of creatures to protect our world from the unknown, and who equally wanted to end her life.  From centaurs, and aurents, to Medusa herself Belle has stood between them and innocent lives.  In her past she has even taken on a Minotaur, but this time something is different, and Belle is going to learn a long lost secret about this race of monster… even if it kills her.


We open with Belle beaten at the hands (hooves?) of the Minotaur, musing about how she doesn’t really like herself very much.  We jump back in time to find our heroine at a showing of ‘Hamilton’, after which she meets an old childhood friend and his sinister-looking aunt.  He invites her to the opening of their new hotel, which is naturally crashed by a supernatural creature.  Belle has to suit up and battle the Minotaur. but the creature gets the better of her, wrapping around to the scene we saw at the beginning.  Belle realizes that, by hunting monsters, she may have become a monster herself, and ls left lying unconscious by the great beast.  After she gets home, we follow the creature to its lair, only to find that his mysterious master is none other than Tony’s sinister aunt!  *dun DUN DAAAAH*


Having read a number of Zenescope’s monster books, from Three Musketeers to Robyn Hood to Van Helsing, this issue feels very much by-the-numbers.  Belle is a brave, quirky young woman, and her quiet moments with her friend are nice, but really don’t stand out much.  I find her armor very cute, but the art is very uneven, going from really good during certain parts of the fight to extremely rubbery during the entire hotel opening.  Other than the fact that her hair is white, there’s nothing to indicate that Auntie is any older than Belle herself, and while the Minotaur looks imposing, he too is inconsistently drawn from page-to-page.  There’s nothing explicitly bad about this issue, but it doesn’t really stand out from its sister book, and could easily have starred Liesel Van Helsing or the girl who looks like Snow White.  That brings up another question: Wasn’t the movie Belle a unique Disney creation?


All in all, while Belle: Horns of the Minotaur #1 isn’t a bad comic book, it isn’t a very memorable one either, and there are just enough moments that fall flat to push is slightly below average, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall.  With a little bit more consistency in the art and a focus on the things that make her stand out from the other Zenescope stars, Belle could totally be the next big thing, but this issue doesn’t quite put the pieces together.

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There's a lot of similar Zenescope characters and a lot of similar Zenescope books so this one doesn't really stand out much... The art has it's moments, but I think it's for the die-hard fans.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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