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I am delighted to say that I enjoyed this third issue of Damsels. I was a bit lukewarm in my review of the last issue, but it appears to have just been a week mid-issue that serves as the framework upon to build the story. Or maybe I just enjoyed the story that was the basis of this issue better? Three issues on it has become clear that, within the larger story, the writers are using lesser-known fairy tales as the basis for the scenario that the main character finds herself in. In this issue it revolves around the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I think I was also partially turned off by last issue’s blatant cheese-cake cover that really had nothing to do with the story. This time we have a much more tasteful and suspenseful cover.
If the main metaphor of the last issue was the crowd vs the other, in this issue it is the idea of immigrants. In the previous issue a spell caused the crowd to turn on fairy tale creatures, including dwarves. In this issue it’s mentioned that the dwarves were key in building (literally) the kingdom many centuries ago. Now they are at risk of being feared, murdered, and kicked out. Parallels can be drawn to many of the immigration issues happening in Europe; in France in particular. Parallels can also be drawn to the railroad building in the USA where Chinese immigrants literally laid the foundation (and tracks) for America’s prosperity, but then had discriminatory laws passed against them.
Aneke’s art continues to improve. In the previous issues there were a few faces or body shapes that came out a little distorted. Here Aneke really does a great job with vast scenes as well as facial expressions.
This issue also had a great feature that I hope continues going forward: the fairy tale that was the basis of the issue was reprinted in its Brothers Grimm form at the end of the book. It was neat to see what they kept and what they modified for the issue. I think it really raises the value of the issue beyond the value of the comic.
If you’re looking for something different to read, you should give Damsels a shot. I know I’m looking forward to seeing if it can continue to improve in my view in the next few issues.