Had to take a couple weeks off from this column. Sorry to leave you all in the lurch like this. Just Another Zenescope Monday is back and I have a ton of Zenescope books to review for you this week. I am going back to the last Wednesday in May through this past week to show you what is going on as Zenescope continues to countdown to Grimm Fairy Tales #100 and the Age of Darkness continues.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland #23 – As the Void faced off against Callie last issue, we were introduced to Hazel, a pop star from Earth with dissociative identity disorder, who had been taken by the Void to be his weapon against Callie. As the fight progresses between Callie and Hazel(s), Callie explains what is really going on, that the Void is just using everyone for his own sadistic game. In the end, Hazel pulls herself together and they both turn on the Void who beats a hasty retreat. The next steps are to gather the army they need to battle the Void and save/destroy Wonderland. To do this, they need the Queens of Clubs and Diamonds. Hazel is sent after Diamonds because, in Callie’s words, she doesn’t speak crazy, but Hazel does. Callie goes to see the Queen of Clubs and convinces her to assist. We are given a glimpse into the relationship between Diamonds and Clubs, and that is the clincher in her decision. At the Pool of Tears, Callie waits and wonders. Suddenly, she is reunited with Violet, her daughter, and things seem like they just might be going well, for a change. Fat chance, but time will tell. Tune in next issue for the beginning of the end for Wonderland.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland Asylum #5 – The climactic conclusion of Wonderland Asylum has Violet Liddle, daughter of Callie, becoming the Mad Hatter and regaining her powers of control over her imagination in Wonderland. The Void returned her powers so that he could make her his perfect Hatter. This was really only a ploy for Violet to get her powers back so that she could escape. With escape a fleeting fantasy, she instead threatens to destroy the one thing that the Void cannot live without, herself. Under the threat of Violet’s suicide, the Void agrees to vow to never harm another of the Liddle family. This has some strange repercussions as Lori Liddle makes her return with several monsters to back her up. In the ensuing battle, things get a little dicey, but Violet finally makes her escape and the Chesire Cat helps her out, having possibly changed due to his interactions with Violet, and she is reunited with her mother, Callie, by the Pool of Tears. Things are wrapping up for Wonderland.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland Clash Of Queens #4 – The Trickster has made it clear to each of the other queens that Hearts now holds the Ebony Blade, the weapon that killed the Jabberwocky. Now that Hearts is free from the Queen of Spades’ control, she plots her revenge, planning to drive them all to war. Diamonds and Clubs are reunited, having previously had a relationship. Their plan is to unite their armies and take on Hearts first, then destroy Spades and take control of all of Wonderland. Hearts has other plans, as she sends Trickster out to destroy an important bridge to slow down Spades and her army. As Trickster returns with good news of things going according to plans, Hearts begins to gloat and prepare her forces for another blow. Suddenly, the world shakes and, as the best laid plans often do, the walls come down. Diamonds and Spades, now reunited with their memories restored, have begun their assault of Hearts in preparation for their own endgame. Troy Brownfield continues this story with, as always, awesome art by Manuel Preitano and Daniel Morales. I will also say that Jim Campbell’s letters were very cool looking this issue.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Neverland #3 – Last issue we found out that the the secret weapon of the Horde was goblins, evil little monsters that ravenously attack anything they are pointed at. As the Dark Queen and her army descend upon the village, Agent Cross, Wendy, and Belle are more than ready to take this army by surprise. Having evacuated the villagers for their safety, the team tears into the mindless goblins. The question on all of their minds is who is this person leading them and why is she in Neverland? At first it seemed like they may be ready for this battle, but then the rest of the goblin army shows up and they realized they would just be overwhelmed. Belle teleports the group out, despite the fact that Cross wants to take on the Horde. Vargas was severely hurt, so they cut their losses and make a hasty retreat. At the castle where Queen Tiger Lily and the Indians are living, Cross asks for her help and she sends Ashunta and the warriors to battle alongside them. Cross tells Wendy to stay because he loves her and wants her to be safe and that she would be a distraction in the heat of battle. As Vargus is shown to a room, something sinister is going on. Find out what in the next issue as the final battle for Neverland begins.
Grimm Fairy Tales #98 – This is a great issue that takes a small break from the action and intrigue of this series to dig into the impact of knowledge on the human aspect of the world in which Grimm Fairy Tales is set. Pat Shand tells us a story of one man’s quest for knowledge of the Highborne and how that quest drives him to the brink of loneliness and emptiness. Losing his family to neglect and almost losing his mind to this obsession, Professor Christopher Halton has embarked on a journey of discovery about the secrets kept hidden from humans for centuries. The fact of the existence of both the Highborne and monsters from other realms become all too real as Halton battles with himself and the human need to know what reality is in order to save his family. A great tale and a strong insight into the “collateral damage”.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Godstorm Age of Darkness One Shot – This book takes place after Ascension finishes, which doesn’t come out till this coming Wednesday. After the final battle, a god has died. While Neptune and Hades mourn their brother, the Dark Queen is readying her next subject, Venus. The funeral is worthy of a god, but as he floats out to sea, the faith of a world that never forgets a god, strikes to his heart and he lives once again. The next section of this story follows Julian Smith, a man discovered to be a son of Zeus and who was also a former god named Zagreus. After fighting alongside the Being during the events of Ascension, Julian took the power the Being gave and killed others to take more until he had enough to challenge the gods. While he had been the one to attack the Being, in the end, Zeus has stepped in and saved his life, giving up his own for his son. We see that Zeus is still alive and the newly resurrected Venus comes to him to gloat about her army, the Dark Horde, and she tries to kill Zeus. Luckily, Julian shows up and helps his dad escape from another certain death. The funny part was that Julian saved him without actually knowing who he was, he did it because it was the right thing to do. In the end, what will Zeus decide? Will he come back into the world as a god or something else? Check out this great issue and get a deeper understanding of the gods and the humans.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Robyn Hood Legend #4 – The story of Robyn is rolling to a close soon, and this issue shows us a group that has been torn apart. Will has been mortally wounded and the magic keeping him alive is running out. He, Robyn, and Much are headed toward certain trouble in Nottingham while Marian, Gisbourne, and Avella have gone off to retrieve some weapons. Remember last issue, Marian had met the water spirit, Delphina, and had been granted her magic. She returns to the camp and passes that healing along to Will Scarlett, giving us all a much needed lightening of the spirits that something is going right for a change. As the team moves in for battle, Guy Gisbourne and the whole of Nottingham have risen up against the Sheriff. Guisborne slices off the fiend’s hand and presses the fight. Upon seeing Robyn, the Sheriff flies off to the castle taunting her all the way. Now, Guisborne reveals that his plan had been to empower the Sheriff and have him meltdown and kill Robyn in the process. Of course, they are all at risk of being caught in the blast now. I can’t spoil the awesome battle and all that happens in this issue, you will just have to read it for yourself. Suffice it to say that this is a rough one and not everyone comes out alive.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Warlord of Oz #2 – Dorothy Gale has been drawn back to Oz. This time, an ancient evil has returned, one that can even defeat Glinda. After she fell in battle, Crumb and his people were attacked and many were killed. The village of Boggstown was destroyed, but the two were able to survive and retrieve and heal Glinda. She then gave up her powers to bring Dorothy to Oz. This seems like a desperate last ditch effort to save this world, but I am sure we will soon see the reasoning behind it… and we can only hope this is not the last we see of Glinda. while the king of Oz battles the political situation and makes decisions about shoring up the kingdom and helping to keep the people safe and happy, Thora and the Tin Man are working for the Warlord. They are on a search for Zamora’s castle, where she is said to be sealed to her throne and buried. Thora wants this because Zamora is the only one who can undo the spell and turn the Tin Man back into the human, Nicholas, Thora’s true love. Meanwhile, Dorothy and Crumb and his wife leave the ruins of Boggstown and encounter their first members of the Warlord’s forces. They make short work of them and are soon surrounded, but it looks like next issue will be full of action and adventure.
Thanks for hanging in there. There sure were a lot of books over the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoyed these summaries and I look forward to covering the books for this coming week next week on Just Another Zenescope Monday. Be sure to give me some likes, share, and comments. Ask any questions you might like and I will see if I can get you some great coverage of Wizard World Philly this coming Saturday. I will be stopping by the Zenescope booth and seeing what sort of secrets I can weasel out of Pat Shand and the crew.