"Realm War #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Joe Brusha
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
2014, 32 Pages
Comic released on July 30th, 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #100 changed the landscape of the entire Grimm Universe in a big way. The realms of Oz, Myst, Neverland, and Wonderland have merged with Earth, decimating much of the world. Realm War picks up just after the landmark issue as humanity is trying to pick up the pieces. I knew that this was a big deal, but I didn't realize how drastic the consequences were. According to the opening pages, approximately eighty percent of the world's population was killed within twenty minutes of the event. That's insane. With that kind of damage, how can there be any hope of fighting back? I guess that's why this is called the Age of Darkness.
What's left of the Realm Knights is fighting against the forces of the Dark Queen, but it's a losing battle. They are outnumbered and outgunned. Interestingly, they're not at the forefront of Realm War. Instead, the issue focuses primarily on the surviving US military as the officers plan their next (and possibly last) assault on the Dark Queen's lair in Las Vegas. Writer Joe Brusha provides a “man on the street” approach to this world altering event.
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There's a theme of despair running through this issue, not unlike the feeling throughout Grimm Fairy Tales #100. It doesn't seem like good is just about to overcome evil here. Evil has won. The game is over. There is no shining light at the end of the tunnel. There are some holdouts, but the world is broken. Although some people are fighting back, there's little to no hope.
I'm really interested in seeing how the different realms co-exist now that they're all on the same plane. They're all very different, with various eccentricities. How will the remaining residents of Wonderland interact with those from Neverland? This issue was mainly about the humans and the Dark Queen's forces.
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Artist Sami Kivela gives life to all this pain and destruction. There is a lot of bloodshed. There's a scene with Red and a handful of soldiers fighting a group of orcs and demons. She tears through them with her sword, hacking at limbs and cutting off heads. Blood and gore are everywhere and she has barely made a dent in the enemy forces.
Realm War opens like a war movie, with a council convening to discuss any possible options. (Here's a hint: There aren't any.) There's a great deal of doom and gloom and for good reason. This is like the Empire Strikes Back of the Grimm Universe, but I don't see a bunch of little teddy bears coming to the rescue in a sequel. At this point, the best the characters can do is survive, but the odds are not in their favor.