"Grimm Fairy Tales #105" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Pat Shand
Illustrated by Andrea Meloni
2014, 32 Pages
Comic released on December 10th, 2014
The two-part Rise of the Water Nymphs storyline concludes this month in Grimm Fairy Tales. Hailey's mother, Queen Calista of the Water Nymphs from Neverland, was fending off attacks from a group of vicious sirens when she decided to kidnap her daughter in a strange effort to protect her that ultimately failed because kidnapping rarely works out well. Sela has to jump in and straighten everything out with a few laser punches and energy beams because that's the way the Guardian of the Nexus gets shit done.
This new storyline with the school called Arcane Acre is still very reminiscent of Avengers Academy or the X-Men, however the students have really grown on me over the past few issues. Hailey was a complete mystery when this era began in issue #101, but writer Pat Shand has provided a glimpse into her tortured history, filled with heartbreak. She's been struggling to figure out where she belongs after her powers kicked in and she inadvertently killed a bunch of her friends at a party. That's a sure way to get uninvited to every other party forever. This issue shows what she's really capable of and it's some intense stuff. A water nymph sounds pretty lightweight, but Hailey is tough when she needs to be and can lash out with some real power.
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On the other end of the spectrum is Calista. Her actions seem misguided and downright weird, especially for a queen. She causes all of the problems in this arc by opening up a portal directly into Arcane Acre and whisking away Hailey and a few other students before Sela has to come in and fix everything. I get that she's a parent and she wants to protect her kid, but this was a very ham-fisted way of doing it. She also comes across as weak and not at all regal. I guess one could argue that she was desperate and trying to do anything she could in an effort to keep Hailey safe, but it doesn't come across that way.
Andrea Meloni delivers some solid artwork for this issue. The sirens are a real standout. They're like vicious fish people with rows of jagged teeth and razor-sharp claws. This is the kind of stuff that makes me avoid the ocean. Sela is also handled very well, reminding everyone that she's a total badass, capable of taking on a horde of these ravenous creatures without breaking a sweat. There's a level of confidence that she displays in all her scenes, whether she's facing down the sirens or making sure the students are safe back at the school.
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There are still some mysteries behind Arcane Acre and its first batch of students. Sela and her cohorts have a challenge ahead of them if the first few issues are any indication. These kids have gotten into a lot of crazy antics and it's much worse than the usual stuff you'd expect from a bunch of hormone-fueled high schoolers. They all have some pretty shaky pasts and are filled with an unknown amount of power. That amplifies the everyday teenage drama a thousandfold.