By Patrick Wolf
We all know how the story of Snow White ends: She cheats death, defeats the stepmother, and bags the prince. But does she really live happily ever after? What will happen to her after she becomes as old as her stepmother? Will she still be the same cheerful girl we’ve all come to know and love? Or will she follow in her stepmother’s footsteps and become obsessed with beauty and power? After the Snow explores these questions and does so by piggybacking off the iconic Disney interpretation of the fairy tale. What we get is an interesting blend of Disney’s Snow White meets Martin’s Game of Thrones.
As alluded to above, After the Snow takes place in the same universe as the 1937 Disney classic and follows the life of Snow White after she turns 35. With fresh wrinkles, loose skin, and budding crows’ feet, Snow White’s not the same youthful beauty she used to be. To make matters worse, she uses the magic mirror on a daily basis and routinely asks it the same horrible question as her stepmother: “Who in this land is fairest of them all?” But, little does Snow White know, her fading beauty is the least of her problems, and lurking deep within the woods are much more sinister perils.
I like this series. I think the premise is brilliant and I appreciate how the team decided to keep Snow White’s iconic Disney dress as her principle costume. It was nice to see so many familiar faces and it was an even bigger treat to see a more grown-up version of these characters. The pacing of this issue was also done very nicely and the beats between scenes were near flawless. But, perhaps the best element of this issue was the art. Wood’s line work and inks were done beautifully, and he does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the classic Disney characters, while simultaneously making them his own.
Unfortunately, while there’s a lot that great about his series, there were some aspects that bothered me. For starters, there wasn’t enough action to hook me into this series. This isn’t anyone’s fault: it’s just the nature of comic books. You have a very small amount of space to tell a very long story, and it’s not always easy to pack it all in 22 pages. What I wish the team would’ve done is make the first issue a little longer (maybe 32 pages) to help pull us more into the story. So far, we’ve got the set up, but no inciting incident to kick the story off. There is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of the issue, but it’s not enough to keep me on my toes.
Another element that kind of disappointed me was the portrayal of Snow White. I was surprised to see her pretty much take on the same role as the wicked stepmother. Would this sweet, innocent, charming girl really undergo such a vicious transformation? So far, I’m not buying it, but I’m sure there’ll be flashbacks in future issues to help explain this transformation.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with a different kind of Snow White, and it’s certainly refreshing to see a mature take on the classic fairly tale. It’s a bit slow and a tad skimpy on the action, but as mentioned earlier this is just issue one. Also, the reader needs to keep in mind this is a more ‘Game of Thrones’ type of series, so we should probably expect to see more backstabbing and sabotage than straightforward fight scenes. At any rate, I enjoyed this installment very much and will be back for issue #2. Any one who was on the fence about supporting After the Snow on Kickstarter can put their worries aside. This is a series worth backing.
After the Snow #1
Writer: Dale Maccanti
Artist: Trev Wood
Colorist: Anthonie Wilson
Letterer: Trev Wood
Publisher: White Cat Press