In a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Fables kind of mash-up, a legend (Robyn Hood), a fairy tale (Snow White), a hunter (Liesel Van Helsing), a warrior (Captain Hook), and a protector (Red Riding Hood) join forces to save the world in Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm Knights.
What Joe Brusha and Pat Shand have concocted here is a peculiar mix of not just fictional and mythological universes, but also of genres. There's some classical fantasy here, some spy-fi action, and even some elements of horror. Actually, it's quite heavy on the classical mythology element, with a confrontation between Cronus and Hades serving as the catalyst for the tale, and it owes a considerable debt to superhero comics in general, especially in regards to the skin-tight, revealing attire.
As you might expect, it's a series that looks great (tons of eye candy), and which is rife with comic book banter. It never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, and even makes some in-jokes at its own expense. The story is pretty solid for a graphic novel, with some interesting twists and surprises, and the genres/universes actually mess surprisingly well. If there's one area where I found it lacking, however, is in terms of characterization. None of the heroes seem particularly well-defined, with their personalities kind of blurring into one another, leaving their costumes the only identifiable aspect.
It wasn't a fantastic read, but it wasn't necessarily a bad one either. I might be tempted to read a second adventure of Realm Knights, depending on the storyline, but I'm not waiting anxiously for the opportunity.
Paperback, 156 pages
Expected publication: July 8th 2014 by Zenescope