Review: GFT – Realm Knights #1

Team books are not something you think of when a Zenescope title is mentioned, but here we are with their first team series (okay technically second because of the one-shot). It was inevitable when you think of how many heroes they’ve created existing in the same world and tackling the same evil. They’ve actually built a large connected universe that only a handful of other publishers, big or small, have been able to do. It’s a team book and as such it begins like most team books; putting the team together and establishing the threat. Now that might sound like a bad thing and if this was just another Marvel or DC title you’d probably be bored instantly by this formula of spending the entire issue gathering the forces. But this isn’t a Marvel or DC book, this is Grimm Fairy Tales; a universe that’s made up of horror and gore… and boobies. It’s actually a lot of fun to see the Grimm characters get code names and special outfits. To say that it follows the team book formula is actually a good thing in this instance.

The issue itself begins with the looming threat that the team will eventually face. We pick up in the days of the Greek gods in which Zeus and his brothers are taking out the last of the Titans. From there the story moves to the present and we see a very shady dude handing fake paper work to people inside of Ibocorp. He’s claiming to be from the Internal Affairs department and needs to perform an audit on a specific item being stored in the building. What’s actually cool here is that whatever spells he’s using actually passes along to people using his name so we don’t actually know the fake or real name of this character. It was kind of like the physic paper from Doctor Who. Since Ibocorp is a well-oiled machine they call in his audit and sure enough it’s a fake. The man tells them that he could have been in and out without harming any of them, but now he’s  basically going to kill them all. After he’s dismembered most of them he opens the storage he was seeking and we see a familiar object from the opening resting inside.

GFTRK01_coverAThe abduction of this object is what brings the Realm Knights back together. They begin recruiting the usual members and pick up a few new ones along the way like Van Helsing and Robyn Hood. RH is actually in prison. I’m not sure if this ties into Robyn Hood: Wanted at all because I’m behind on that series, but it definitely takes place after the one shot where she fights with Red Riding Hood. The two of them almost go at it again in this issue, even though Red is the one that vouched for RH.

The writing was good; Shand does a good job of using the team book formula that you’ve no doubt read before, but it works. That’s why a lot of writers use it; it works each and every time. Again, if it was just another book from the big two you’d be bored, but it’s actually interesting here.

The art is pretty good. It carries the narrative and the action is easy to follow. The character designs are pretty cool as well. Really it’s just kind of cool to see Grimm characters in full body leather suits instead of their usual skimpy outfits. That doesn’t mean that the sex appeal isn’t still there, it’s just different. It’s probably one of the best aspects of the issue. The coloring is soft throughout the issue and there’s basically no lighting effects giving each panel a flat look. If it had been more vibrant and sharp the art would have popped off the page, but instead it’s muted and dull.

I was surprised by this issue and I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the mini-series. Frankly I think it’s getting to the point that this is what Zenescope needs to freshen up their universe. I think it would be very interesting to see more of these minis pop up when danger approaches so hopefully it does well for the company so that they’ll revisit it. Now if you’re just into superhero titles you may not like this book still, it is after all a Grimm Fairy Tales story meaning it’s not about fighting crime or super villains. But still give it a chance you might end up liking it more because of it.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Pat Shand

Artist: Butch Mapa

Colors: Kevin Volo

Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 8/21/13