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Tales From Neverland #1 – Review

This double-sized issue has two stories with two chances to impress. The first is a great story that’s enjoyable for surprising reasons and the second is a story that seems out of place, but is still pretty good.  Both have flaws, but a lot of positive qualities that make up for these flaws… for the most part. The cover story, simply entitled “Tinkerbelle,” opens with Tinkerbelle running away from a group of fairies in hot pursuit of her to find out what happened to the Fairy Queen’s daughter.  She is forced to relive a frightening tale of killer mermaids and is banished from Neverland. Zenescope is usually noted for taking fairy tales and turning them into horrifyingly graphic tales with sexy characters in outfits too skimpy to be considered lingerie.  But this story by Joe Brusha takes a surprisingly different approach. This may be a disappointment for the gore hounds out there looking for more blood because this issue only has spurts.  There are still some skimpy outfits thrown into the mix, but very little blood and only one scene that could be considered somewhat graphic.  Grimm Fairy Tales: Tales From Neverland #1 by Joe BrushaMostly, Brusha takes his time developing an actual story rather than gore.  The story refrains from becoming too complex and a lot is established by the end of this issue.  Another nice surprise was that the events flowed smoothly and did not feel rushed at all.  The narrative from Tinkerbelle was slightly boring because of the abundance of it thrown at the reader in the beginning of the issue, but her narration becomes more tolerable a few pages in.  The feel of the narrative was odd, though.  It felt more directed towards teenage girls with mentions of peer pressure and catfights.  The first quality added to the story while the second was a necessity that could have been done better, but the feel in general was more towards a teen audience. The few characters Brusha takes time to delve into are not only well developed but fascinating to read about.  They don’t fall into the usual clichéd categories. Tinkerbelle is a much deeper character in this issue than the many other interpretations of her in the numerous other forms of media she has been in.  Her character has several flaws but an overall good conscience that really makes you empathize with her by the end of the issue.  Her sister also makes up a big part of her character and has a pivotal role in the comic.  Tinkerbelle’s love for her sister is amiable and makes her into an even more fleshed out character with motivation.  Despite the sister only being mentioned occasionally in the dialogue and never being seen, Brusha managed to make her character have a huge impact on the reader right to the ending, which led to a great twist that while a bit cliché, was very satisfying.  Tinkerbelle is well developed enough to hold the reader’s interest despite there not being many other characters even given names let alone any character development. The art was the combined works of Judit Tondora and Antonio Bifulco.  This was the most disappointing part of the issue.  The issue opened with some great artwork: it was well put together with a nice touch of colors from Roland Pilcz and Miguel Garrido that gave the imagery a nice abstract look.  For some reason, after these beautiful images, the art seemed to begin going into a downward spiral until half of the panels looked badly neglected with barely any detail given to either the characters or the background.  The one slightly graphic scene I mentioned before was so cluttered it took me a few moments to even figure out what it was. When I did, the scene was satisfying but also annoying because the artwork almost hid a pivotal part of the plot from me.  As previously mentioned, for those looking for pictures of fairies that look like they belong in Playboy, you won’t find them here.  The outfits may be short but most of the physical structures of the fairies are barely developed at all.  The little that is comes off rather poorly.  Grimm Fairy Tales: Tales From Neverland #1 by Joe Brusha Cover B “Tinkerbelle” is a far better story than the next one in the issue entitled “Family History.”  The title’s lack of originality is not promising but the story did have some good surprises in store for the reader.  It opens with a wife, narrating about a terrible nightmare she has when she wakes up and hears actual screaming.  When investigating she discovers how evil her husband truly is when she walks in on him sacrificing a newborn.  She tries to run away with her son.  The only problem is their means of escape: the Titanic. While this seems more complex than “Tinkerbelle,” it felt like it had much less content.  The “Tinkerbelle” story felt deeper, creating a good storyline as well as creating surprisingly realistic and interesting characters.  “Family History” struggles a bit with both these things.  It is again written by Joe Brusha and he fails to develop the characters as much, although it does not make them unlikable.  He just doesn’t make them stand out from the crowd as much as they should. The story has a lot of promise and makes me even more curious to see what will happen next.  The mention of the Titanic towards the end of the story seems unimportant but is an oddly unique and wonderful way to show not only the time but also the setting. The art is also another let-down.  The style from Jean Paul DeShong is mediocre and not very memorable.  The backgrounds are never too detailed and when they are, they fail to be important.  The few times when DeShong shows the characters’ eyes, a subtle importance in art, the eyes were not memorable.  Most of the time, the characters’ eyes were closed, which made the scenes seem very awkward.  Even with the sometimes awkward art in both stories, “Tinkerbelle” had a basic story that managed to take many twists and turns and by the end, blossom into a great and unique tale.  “Family History” showed some promise but needs another issue to entice me.  Until then, I’ll just enjoy Neverland. Overall Score – 7.9/10 *Good - A solid book overall, might not be for everyone but does have a fan base and they will definitely enjoy.* For a preview of Tales from Neverland #1 click here. Also be sure to check out our interview with the colorist to the cover Jeff Balke.
Rating
7.9

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An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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