Review: Grimm Fairy Tales: Van Helsing vs Frankenstein #1

I stepped up to review this book because I thought I would be getting a interesting tale of the two men haunted by monsters.  Instead, I got more of a Hugh Jackman Van Helsing featuring a woman in the title role.  No worries.  I will let the book be what it is and review it based on its own merits. But I really wish it were a book about Victor Frankenstein and Abraham Van Helsing in a period piece akin to Nolan’s The Prestige.  That would have been pretty damn cool.

Liesel Van Helsing lives in a world with gooey, nasty monsters.  Fortunately, she’s a hunter--as are so many of the people around her.  She has great friends and a magical beau named Hades.  The group, much like Team Crow from John Steakley’s Vampire$, works hard and then drinks hard.  That’s a fun element to the book.

There are some positives to this tale.  Leonardo Colapietro illustrates his monsters with the right amount of gore and fright.  Conversely, the ladies in the book are sultry and curvy with their movie star figures perfect for hunting the most loathsome monsters.

Van Helsing vs Frankentein #1Being set in modern day New York add some additional fun to the tale.  Hunters battle monsters with night vision goggles and all the accouterments that contemporary monster bashers would need.

The negatives lie with the dialogue and the overabundance of it.  Take for instance the narration that makes me roll my eyes with a sarcasm deep enough to drown a giraffe: “Why do werewolves kill?  Because they are angry.”  Yes, that’s a verbatim quote from the book.

The dialogue mounts up on each page, making the amount of white space from speech bubbles overtake the brilliant darkness of the setting.  Instead of showing us how Van Helsing’s supernatural friends came to meet, we are told in endless dialogue.  The book would benefit from the realization that sequential art means balancing the text with the visual, not one drowning the other.

One last plot related failure comes from Frankenstein’s monster not coming until issue two.  I will write no more of the matter to avoid spoiling a calculated climax.

Overall, this book aims for average and hits it with a crossbow bolt right on the bullseye.  With some great room for character development and plot twists looming, I will stay with this book for another issue.  But I cannot recommend making an effort to find this book in the stacks, otherwise.

[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Grimm Fairy Tales: Van Helsing vs Frankenstein #1 Writer: Pat Shand Artist: Leonardo Colapietro Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital