Comic Comments – The Gathering

This arc of Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends takes Issue 16 and 17.  It deals with the story of Helios and his relation to the searching for an artifact today.  I’m newish to this title and am still learning my way around the characters and universe.  I tried to get into the main title Grimm Fairy Tales but never could.  I did enjoy the last arc in this title and have kept it.  I’ll explain more once the legalese and credits are out of the way.

A red leather clad Red Riding Hood brandishes a sword.

All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.

The credits are a bit long and complicated given each issue has multiple covers. Just hang in there with me and let’s thank those who make our comics possible. Issue 16 story by Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha, and Ralph Tedesco; Raven Gregory, Writer; Joyce Mauriera and Ilias Kyriazis, Art; Jeff Balke, Sean Forney, & Ramon Ignacio Bunge, Colors; Jim Campbell, Letterer; Cover A (Pictured here) by Stjepan Sejic; Cover B by Robert Atkins & Sanju Nivangune; Boston Comic Con Exclusive Cover limited to 500 Copies by Elais Chatzoudis; Edited by Matt Rogers & Anthony Spay. Issue 17 Story by Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha, & Ralph Tedesco; Raven Gregroy, Writer; V. Kenneth Marion & Marco Constino, Art; Jeff Balke & Roland Pilcz, Colors; Jim Campbell, Letterer; Cover A (pictured here) by Ale Garza & Sanju Nivangune; Cover B by Mike Capprotti; Big D Comics Exclusive Cover limited to 500 Copies by Nei Ruffino; Phoenix Comic Con Exclusive Cover limited to 500 Copies by Eric Basaldua & Nei Ruffino; Phoenix Comic Con Exclusive Cover limited to 250 Copies by Eric Basaldua & Nei Ruffino; Pheonix Comic Con Exclusive Sketch Cover Limited to 75 Copies by Eric Basaldua; Edited by Matt Rogers & Raven Gregory.

Okay like I said I’m new to this and still trying to catch on to all the characters. The set up of each issue is a frame story of things going on today in the modern world with a fairy tale being told that has a bearing on the events of today. In the modern aspect there is a female police detective that is aware of these magical/fairy tale goings on slipping into our world from theirs. She acts as the police here to get them back to where they belong. While doing that she’s trying to keep down the freak out here over things we think aren’t real. Actually they aren’t real in this dimension but they are in other dimensions. That’s the basic concept and we’ll build from there together.

This two book arc has to do with the tale of Helios. He was born with the power of the sun in him. Unfortunately this meant he could touch no one without burning them to a cinder. He finds a way to control his power but must perform a secret ritual nightly for it work. He builds a normal life but the secret eats away at his wife. Where does he go nightly? What does he do? She sets out to find the answer and learns more than she bargained. In the modern story various entities are scrabbling to find parts of a medallion that contains the power of Helios. If someone gets all the parts and puts them together fire will be let loose upon the dimension where they are assembled. Needles to say our detective doesn’t want that to be here! or any where if she can help it.

In this arc the strong story is the fairy tale. It’s a tragedy but it’s well spun and brings out a life lesson about secrets, trust, and love. All good fairy tales have a lesson to them. Most fairy tales if you go back before the Disney-ification of them were not sweetness and light. They were warnings of dire consequences if lessons weren’t heeded. This one is a good illustration of what secrets, even well intended ones, in a relationship can do.

Two topless mermaids discretely covered by placement of other objects battle an armored Beast for a glowing object.

The modern one flashes so many characters I don’t know that didn’t have much meaning for me. I did get the idea of who is good and who is evil. Easy one – Devil = evil! I get that some of them have faced our detective before and want to destroy her for what she did in their last confrontation. Apparently some have newly allied to this purpose of striking down our dimension and its guardian detective lady. Don’t worry she’s got the glowy girl that talks in squiggly bubbles to help her out. She provides the back story to what Helios’s powers were.

As for the art, it’s cheesecake art. Yes just like the cover so goes the interior. I don’t mind topless mermaids I get that. I just don’t get some of the outrageous poses or going to battle in less clothes than you wear at your desk back in division headquarters. Hey I love some beefcake as much as the next person so I get cheesecake is the other side to that. Fine but there are times it’s practical and times it’s just ridiculous. Which I think is a fundamental difference between fangurls and fanboys – just where the suspension of belief is in favor of the cake of your choice. I think this title which is known for it goes over my boundary but I do enjoy the fairy tales so I’ll hang on another arc and see if the writing over comes my eye rolling.

The other thing that annoyed me was the changing font. I get doing something to bubbles to let us know this person speaks mentally (mind to mind) rather than out loud. I get doing something to the bubbles to indicate this person sounds different than anything around this dimension. I don’t like all the odd fonts for that. It throws off my reading. It’s like reading one of Aaron’s 3rd grade papers when he discovered how to change fonts, do bold and italics. Very annoying – stick to one font and change the bubbles.

This title is on probation with me. I can’t say I dislike it because I don’t. I can’t say I don’t enjoy it because I do. I can say that finances spent on comics are limited and this one isn’t as liked or enjoyed as much as others. If a really interesting new title comes along and I need to drop a title this one is on the short list to be dropped – unless the next arc will blows my socks off or given the cheesecake art should I say pants?

Next up on Comic Comments is Saucer Country Issue 6 which was touted as a good jump on issue entitled A Field Guide To Flying Saucers. Panels and pages comments after the jump (warning could be considered SPOILERY)

Detective asks glowy girl how she can help. The response is listen to me.

Here we see the glowy girl that is trying to stop the collection of the pieces talking to the Detective Lady of our dimension. I liked the answer here – the first step in helping someone is listening to them. Here Glowy Girl starts the tale of Helios which is important to understand given the powers we are talking about here. Notice GG’s bubbles are all funky the font stays the same.

"That nothing chips away at trust more than a secret and once that trust is gone it always leaves us cold."

“That nothing chips away at trust more than a secret and once that trust is gone it always leaves us cold.” That’s part of Helios’s lesson there. His treatments to control his power are icy of course but what happens when a mortal wife follows him there? She’s left COLD because his secret eroded her trust of him. Very good lesson. The story goes on to explain the medallion that is in play in modern day but I liked how this was the build up. I didn’t include the rest because it was a full page splash.

This page shows two bad guys (a woman and a drooling beast) she speaks in a highly decorative font

I’m not sure just who is who here. That’s Beast (as in ‘Beauty &’ there in the back drooling) and the lady isn’t from our dimension so she talks different. That’s fine but the change in font here from the rest of the books annoyed me.

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