We reach the end of our little Zenescope series. I’ve got to say that of my limited exposure to Zenescope titles this series has probably been the most pleasant from start to finish. It’s a good story, not necessarily great but good from start to finish. With my reviews of White Queen I went from rage and a deep, deep hatred to a mild acceptance despite all the flaws White Queen had. While I wasn’t amazed by The Little Mermaid from issue one I could kind of see where it was going and the writing and art were competent enough to keep me interested in what was going on. Something like this is hard to review because unlike some books, which fail but they don’t fail in an interesting way, this book succeeds but doesn’t succeed in any interesting way. Whether something succeeds or fails it doesn’t make for reviewing, or even really, further consideration unless it does those things in some notable way. It makes it hard to discuss as a ‘text’ as far as what’s included in the text because there isn’t anything you can point to and offer compliment or criticism.
I can say that this book excels in what I call the ‘invisibles’. There are certain elements of entertainment, whatever entertainment that is, that when done well are invisible. Basic, fundamental things that are needed to tell the story but can interfere with your immersion. In this case things like art, page layout, pacing, dialog, and even plot and characterization. The book does suffer a bit from Interchangeable Character Syndrome and when a book presents with ICS it usually makes it hard to determine who is doing what and why because everything blends together into a grey paste of plot elements. This book presents with a mild case of ICS but it’s easily compensated for by the vastly different and visually engaging character designs. Even characters who are ‘plain’ are at least set apart visually from our Mermaid protagonist, our octo-woman Antagonist or our King of Atlantis. Panels flow together easily, you always have a solid notion of where you are in the world and where you are in time (save for some major time skipping in early issues), the art is pleasing and the story is serviceable. The plot tells us what we need to know when we need to know it and the story mostly ties up at the end. I say mostly but when compared to the dead stop I’ve gotten in the Dynamite books this book at least ties up its loose ends while introducing some potential future revisit.
Our series ends on a very Conan note with our protagonist reluctantly sitting on the Throne of Atlantis as the new queen and feeling very trapped by it as our octo-woman antagonist looms in the shadows with her inevitable return to claim the throne for herself. It remains to be see how either character will cope with what lies ahead of them but, as with Conan; that is a story for a different time. After reading so many books that neither resolved nor set up anything after the first arc it’s appreciated that they at least tried, and succeeded, in keeping the story open for continuation. The book is not revolutionary, but it is well done. It’s a solid piece of entertainment that will help you kill some time and will most likely leave you satisfied at the end. Plus it has barely clothed fish ladies in it with big ol’ boobies, your mileage may vary depending on age and maturity.
The Little Mermaid #5 Writer: Meredith Finch Artist: Miguel Mendonca Colorist: Jorge Alberto Cortes Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/24/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital