Success and Failure

Scanning the shipping list for today, I was hoping to find the next instalment of Zenescope’s Dream Eater saga, the crossover between Grimm Fairy Tales, Neverland, Wonderland and their other titles, which I hoped to use as a jumping on point.

Unfortunately, it was not to be, looks like I will have to wait another week. Other than Wonderland and Stingers, my experience with the Zenescope line of titles is limited. I’ve dashed in and out of Grimm Fairy Tales and I’ve always enjoyed the visit, which I have detailed in this column before. Yet the seeming lack of an overall storyline in the issues I read discouraged me from the title, as much as the covers designed to appeal to hormonally driven adolescents put me off. I can’t criticise, I read Vampirella, and the use of unrealistically endowed female characters on the cover is a tried and tested technique for sales.

Similarly, like Vampirella, and unlike many other offerings I have seen over the years, the interior pages offered a little more depth than simple voyeurism. Thus I eagerly await the rest of the Dream Eater saga to discover just what over-aching storyline and setting the Zenescope titles work within.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure the same can be said for last week’s Brimstone #1. Talk about a gratuitous cover, there was nary a female character in the title as I read it. Set during the civil war, a gold mine is created on a site where a local native states that ‘unsettled spirits dwell’. Unsurprisingly, contact with the mine site is lost a few days later.

The title does a good job of creating the Western Frontier atmosphere, and recognition of the politics of the era, and I think as a novel, or a film, this will work well. Yet as a first issue, we do not even get to see the unsettled spirits (although all clues hint towards a zombie outbreak, so I hope there is more to it than that), and there is not one likable character. That aside, as unlikeble as the characters are, we fail to develop a dislike of any intensity; there’s no urge for me to return to see them get their just deserts, unlike say, Oni’s excellent ‘The Sixth Gun’.

I will suspend rejection of this title just yet, because it possesses a wonderful cinematic feel that is not to be missed. But this may just be one of those titles where it’s an idea to let the issues pile up and then read them in one sitting. As a first issue, it’s a fail however.

You could say wait for the trade, but then the appearance of a trade is not always guaranteed.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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