*blog written by guest writer David Goodman
Over the last few years, Zenescope has gone from publishing a single anthology-style title in Grimm Fairy Tales to an entire universe of books that fall under the Grimm Universe umbrella, including Unleashed, Wonderland, Robyn Hood and now Oz and No Tomorrow.
The result is that it can be quite intimidating for a new reader to jump in and be able to understand who’s who and what’s what in Zenescope’s ever expanding universe of characters and titles. Add on the fact that most of Zenescope’s books feature female leads and don’t fit into the standard superhero mold, and it becomes even more difficult to convince a Marvel or DC fan to give the Grimm Universe a shot.
Enter Pat Shand and Realm Knights.
If ever there has been a book that was designed and written to be a new reader friendly gateway to the world of Zenescope, this is it. Why? Well, let me tell you…
It’s the Best Characters of the Grimm Universe in One Place
Sela, Hook, Red Riding Hood, Van Helsing and Robyn Hood. If ever there was an all-star cast for a Zenescope comic, this is it. You get all the best and brightest characters of the Grimm Universe in one book and thanks to Shand, a crystal clear picture of who they are and what they are like. It’s like Zenescope’s own version of Grant Morrison’s JLA, just with more women (thankfully).
When you read most of Zenescope’s titles, they are not what I would call “happy fun-time” kinds of comics. Bad things usually happen to good people and nothing is as simple as black or white, like most superhero fare. It’s part of what makes Zenescope stand apart from the pack and makes their books so appealing.
But sometimes you just want to read a comic that will put a smile on your face and you will have a great time reading. Realm Knights is that book. It’s page after page of high adventure, nonstop ass-kicking and great character interaction. While I wouldn’t call it a kid friendly book, I would call Realm Knights a departure for Zenescope in style and tone, and one that I welcome with open arms.
It’s New Reader Friendly
Don’t know a Highborn from a Falseblood? Don’t really care how many Realms of Power there are? No problem. Realm Knights gives you all the information you need on the first page with the rest explained throughout the story. Shand has done an amazing job simplifying and boiling the Grimm Universe down to it’s essence so that if Realm Knights is your first Zenescope comic, you get all the information you need between it’s two covers to know what the Grimm Universe is like.
It Will Appeal to Fans of Superheroes
Have a friend who loves the Avengers or Justice League? Someone who won’t give Zenescope a chance because he thinks they’re all just scantily clad girls and supernatural elements?
Give them a copy of Realm Knights and watch it change their mind.
Realm Knights is the most superhero-ish comic I’ve ever seen Zenescope publish and it works surprisingly well. A team put together by the US government to deal with threats from evil Highborns and Falsebloods, the premise is like something straight out of an Avengers spinoff title. It’s a book that relies less on the history and plot lines of the Grimm Universe and more on the characters themselves, which is the secret to any decent superhero team-up title.
It Takes Place Post-Unleashed
For those that have been living under a rock for the last few months, Unleashed is Zenescope’s big summer event that brings vampires, zombies and the like back to the Grimm Universe and leaves Earth a very different place. It’s a mammoth event, and one that would intimidate any new reader (unless you read my Unleashed primer, in which case you would be all set) and cause them to steer away.
Realm Knights picks up after Unleashed, so all the information you need to know is on page one and you get a look at what the Grimm Universe is like after the events of the miniseries. No muss, no fuss.
So, do you need yet another reason to check out Realm Knights? How about this: the bottom line is that it’s a great comic that might just be my favorite Zenescope book published to date. An awesome story combined with great art making for one amazing comic.
Buy yourself a copy and get one for a friend. They’ll thank you for it.