I will say this: after reading White Queen #1 my expectations for Zenescope books are pretty low. That low bar definitely worked to the advantage of this particular title however. This is Zenescope's take on The Little Mermaid. If you aren't familiar it is, in fact, not a book where a pretty mermaid sings a bunch of songs and marries a prince. The Hans Christian Andersen story ends when the Prince falls in love with another woman and instead of killing the Prince the Mermaid turns into sea-foam. Oh, and the Prince makes her dance for him over and over again despite the fact her legs feel excruciating pain when she dances. It's fucked up. Zenescope has boldly decided to take no inspiration from any version of the Little Mermaid and strike out with its own original interpretation. It definitely has my interest. The story draws a little bit of curiosity in the mystery of just what is going on. The mystery at least feels somewhat planned and not mysterious due to it being poorly written. The dialogue is... nothing to write home about. It's not award-winning but unlike White Queen #1 the dialogue doesn't detract from what's going on.
This biggest sin this issue has is a rather confused timeline. It jumps around from the present to different points in the past to tell the story. I think it may have been better cutting one of the flashbacks, perhaps the one that tells us how the mermaid became a captive, as it doesn't serve the greater narrative at this point and is the odd timeline out. Saving that for a future issue would have helped the pacing. Other than that I'm curious to see what happens. A lot of questions get raised: Who is the mermaid? Why does she have Hulk powers? Why does her mom look the same age as her? Can I have sex with that octopus? Why do I find an octopus lady attractive? None of those and more get answered. Especially those last two. Even though, I think, they're the most important. I would certainly like answers to the last two, I'd feel better about myself if I did.
This isn't a rush out and get it book. If you already have a full reading list this week then by all means skip this one and put the money towards something you might like more. If you're a Zenescope fan or a fan of loosely adapted fairy tales then you could probably do worse but don't go out of your way.
The Little Mermaid #1 Writer: Joe Brusha/ Meredith Finch Artist: Miguel Mendonca Colorist: Ivan Nunes Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/25/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital
You can also listen to the CBMFP crew talk about The Little Mermaid #1 on our comic podcast!