While Zenescope shifts most of their publishing schedule to one-shot stories told in annuals and quarterlies, Grimm Fairy Tales remains as their one monthly title. This long-running series, the company's flagship, is now on the 42nd issue of its second iteration. Let's see how this issue, which brings Baba Yaga back into the fold, plays out.
Grimm Fairy Tales is really coming into its own under the capable pen of Dave Franchini, who fans of other Zenescope series may know from Belle. This issue brings back the long-time sometimes villain/sometimes ally Baba Yaga, who was, interestingly enough, also prominently featured in the 42nd issue of the original Grimm Fairy Tales run, which ended at #125. This issue sees Skye and Jasmine battle with Baba and, when another foe joins the skirmish, the heroes and Baba must join forces. In the past, Grimm Fairy Tales has been a horror anthology series that reinvented classic stories, a fantasy saga, a superhero story, and now Franchini is blending all of that into something that feels both new and classic.
The artwork in this comic is a seamless collaboration between artists Eman Casallos and Julius Abrera, the latter of whom cut his teeth on Spirit Hunters and Robyn Hood. The two artists, and colorist Jorge Cortes, work together to deliver stunning superhero action and horrific villains, with the green, drippy-mouthed kelpies as a horrific standout. Letterer Taylor Esposito does well with the sometimes dialogue-heavy script, but the man is known for his bombastic sound effects for a reason. There's a great use of a laughing SFX early in the issue that is creative and slightly foreboding without being too heavy-handed.
For those looking to read stories of heroes and villains told in classic style without feeling outdated, Grimm Fairy Tales is, and has been a great bet.