Welcome to another installment of Just Another Zenescope Monday, or #JAZM, your #1 place for all things Zenescope. This is a column that brings you reviews of every issue put out by Zenescope Entertainment and I try to give you any other news that I may get. Just remember that there will probably be some spoilers, as I am reviewing all comics released by Zenescope.
Had to take a week off there to recover from Wizard World Philly, which was awesome. Got some cool news from the Zenescope folks. We will be having monthly giveaways, starting in July, so be sure to check out this column every week. Trivia questions, lists, fill in the blanks, funny captions, all of these and more are lined up for you over the coming months. For now, let’s just be satisfied with news from Pat Shand that Robyn Hood will become a regular ongoing series. Yay!
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Ascension #5 – The final chapter in this epic story happens now. For those of you following this tale, you know that a creature known as the Being was originally made as the Makers’ son, but wanted to be more. The Maker was the leader of the Keepers, five beings with god-like powers that had taken it upon themselves to protect Earth and the surrounding realms. The Being showed that he was not pure and was imprisoned in the Shadowlands. Upon his release, being understandably pissed and evil, he killed his father and decided to become mankind’s new god. Now, the final battle has begun as his acolytes have come together, some against him and some standing with him, to decide the fate of humanity. Sela Mathers and Liesel Van Helsing are present to help, or just get in the way, as the case may be. Even the powers of Innocence and Love, granted by the Being to his human acolytes, is not a match for this evil. Finally, as Julian pours out the power that he was granted and has taken, it is not until Zeus, Julian’s father shows up, that the Being is felled… and even then, it only seems as though he gives up because he sees that his plans for saving the world have only caused it to be a worse place. The final pages of this issue were great, as the story of the Being is retold and we see him wandering the Earth. Finally, the image of his father comes to him and tells him what to do, how to make things better. “Live.”
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland: Clash of Queens #5 – Another finale issue, as the war between the queens comes to a head. The Trickster, who we now know is in the employ of the Dark Queen, has manipulated Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds to wage war against Hearts, the current holder of the Ebony Blade. The winner of this war, or that last one standing, will hold the Blade and control Wonderland. As the battle rages, Diamonds and Clubs are assaulting the walls of Hearts’ castle while Spades is making her way to the battlefield. Through some last minute manipulations, the Trickster is able to convince Spades to attack the flank of the Diamonds/Clubs army and help Hearts out, in exchange for the right to face her in one on one combat after the battle. The final showdown is not quite as simple, as all four queens have it out, until Hearts and Clubs push Spades out of the castle and she runs away to fight another day. The last laugh is reserved for the Trickster who, taking the Ebony Blade, proceeds to behead Hearts. Then Trickster returns to her mistress, the Dark Queen, as the Age of Darkness continues.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Neverland: Age of Darkness #4 – Nathan Cross was happy in his life with Wendy after saving her nephews from Pan, the evil ruler of Neverland. Cross had been a Realm Knight, protecting the realms from supernatural things. Now, there is a new evil rising in Neverland, the Goblin Queen leading a horde of trolls and goblins, and Cross has had to make some tough decisions. Issue #4 brings about the finale this current mini-series and starts us off with a big battle. Unfortunately, this is just a diversion as the main force is being secretly let into Tiger Lily’s castle in order to slaughter everyone there. Cross realizes this and rallies his group to head back to the castle, but will it be too late? The Goblin Queen’s army mows through Tiger Lily’s guards with ease, and rips the throne off the dais to reveal a hidden compartment holding a large green gem. Meanwhile, as Tiger Lily and Wendy gear up for the battle, her bodyguard changes shape revealing himself to be Repliq, the secret assassin of the Goblin Queen, and kills Queen Tiger Lily. After a brief fight, he escapes, along with the Goblin Queen and the remnant of her army. Returning to the one she currently serves, the Dark Queen, we see the Goblin Queen deliver the gem, the Sacred Child. The Dark Queen places the gem on a shelf next to another gem, the Cyclop’s Eye that we last saw in Grimm Fairy Tales presents Code Red. What is the connection? We shall soon find out as the Age of Darkness is upon us very soon.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland: Age of Darkness One Shot – We pick up from the end of both Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland: Asylum and Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland, as Calie and Violet have been reunited and are resting calmly and peacefully for the first time in a while… Enter, the Trickster, servant of the Dark Queen. At least, if you haven’t been reading Wonderland, and for shame if you haven’t, you get a quick rundown of recent events. As they sleep, they dream, and Calie has a run in with the Dark Queen. The Queen wants Calie to take control of Wonderland and rule it for her, keeping it sealed off from the other realms. an interesting thing mentioned here is that the Dark Queen spent some time in Wonderland as a child… hmmm. Maybe she was one of the ones called through by the Void? Anyway, Calie declines, in quite a forceful way, I might add. In the waking world, the Trickster wakes Violet and, you guessed it, tricks her into having her soul sucked into an amulet. As Calie wakes from her nightmare, she realizes it was all too real and must give into the Dark Queens demands in order to save Violet. But, if anything holds true for this series, we all know that you must never underestimate a Liddle.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Wonderland #24 – Calie Liddle and her daughter were reunited at the end of last issue. Waking up from the events of the Wonderland: Age of Darkness One Shot, Calie and Violet are met by Hazel and the Queen of Diamonds, who she was sent to recruit because they are both the same level of crazy. Clubs shows up at the time, following after Diamonds, her true love. Calie realizes the Void and Cheshire are hiding in the bushes and attacks, but it is soon discovered that the cat feels he has aligned himself with the wrong team. Meanwhile, the Void has already hightailed it away from the fight. The Void fled to the Castle of Spades to petition the Queen. He offers her full rule over Wonderland with one catch… that he be the king. Calie has a bit of an epiphany about the way that Wonderland works.
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Helsing #3 – Liesel, having traveled to Italy in search of information about a mysterious journal from her father detailing battles and travels that she never knew about, is now returning “home” to London to follow the only lead she has. Jonathan Harker, the bookstore owner she met in Italy, gave her more pages of the journal and told her a mysterious man told her to “enjoy the voyage home”. As she continues her hunt for Herman Melville… yeah, give that minute to sink in, she calls Hades and asks for some help. Going to her childhood home, which was destroyed and a school built in its place, Liesel and Harker meet a young school teacher, Mina Harker. Of course there is a big vampire fight. Renfield tells Liesel, after she has dispatched all the vamps, that his master awaits her visit. He disperses in a cloud of bugs and Liesel is left with a few more pages of her father’s journal, this time leading her to Transylvania to confront her white whale, Dracula. (Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick, a story about a man who spends his life hunting an elusive white whale, only to die trying to catch it…)
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Godstorm: Hercules Payne #3 – Andre has had a major change of heart after the death of his brother. He can no longer be the criminal that he was. He is having a lot of trouble with Terrell Taylor, the drug dealer who feels that he owns Andre because of some incrimination footage. The truth is that a darker force is behind all this, Venus, the goddess who was resurrected by the Dark Queen. When Zeus shows up and tells Andre that he is his son, things really get sideways. Now. Andre is realizing the extent of his powers as he fights off a hit squad at the diner and walks off into the night, unscathed from the bullets he was shot with. Andre does a lot of soul searching in this issue… but he also does a lot of head busting, especially when Taylor powers up some of his goons and sends them out to “take care of” Andre. This is a really cool issue and gets Andre on the path to dealing with several issues, as he sees the darkness that clogs the streets, darkness that, up until recently, he was immersed in. Things have to change.
This was a great couple of weeks. I hope you enjoyed these reviews and that they get you to pick up these books and check out the amazing writing of the Zenescope team. I continue to be impressed with the “Age of Darkness” storyline and really look forward to “Realms Fall”, which I will almost completely be covering next week, in advance of their release. Be sure to come back here to find out ahead of time what is going to happen as we continue down the road to Grimm Fairy Tales #100.
One last thing before I go for this week. Check out a cover from the upcoming series Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Tales of Horror, a horror comic in the vein of Grimm Fairy Tales and Wonderland.