Grimm Fairy Tales presents God storm #0
by Pat Shand
I sit here in front of my computer a day after Hurricane Sandy, grateful that I have power and all my friends and family are safe & sound. I will be homebound as the river in my town of New Jersey typically floods after storms, my husband is home from work until further notice since a transformer blew out on the block of his job, and my oldest son is home from school tomorrow (and who knows for how much longer) due to schools without power and flooding. Halloween is currently postponed, so we will all dress up in costumes, eat the candy we bought and have a little party in the house with our Xbox Kinect.
As I sat around last night, listening the howling 90 mph winds, I couldn’t concentrate on writing, reading or reading things to write about. Then this morning I woke with an idea of what to write, what would be appropriate and fitting?
So today I bring you my review of Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales presents Godstorm #0 by fellow East Coaster hit by the storm in New York and overall wonderful guy, Pat Shand.
Now I do have issue #1 of Godstorm BUT it is a Zenescope New York Comic Con Exclusive which I refuse to open! And though Issue #2 is set for release, I also figure that covering issue #0 would be more appropriate to review for others to gain an interest in this series. Though I was very careful pulling this issue from its bag & boarding because Pat Shand autographed it to me at NYCC (it reads: to Foxy Foxxy, the “Zenescope whore“? We <3 you!… inside joke).
Admittedly, I didn’t know what to think about this book just at glancing at the title. I’m used to Zenescope bringing me titles based on fairy tales, folklore and more known children stories (I.E. Wonderland, Neverland) that I already know. However, I have enjoyed other Zenescope titles that were not based on the aforementioned subjects like ‘Salem’s Daughter’, so I approached this title with hesitant enthusiasm. I was both excited and scared of what the unknown would bring me once opening this book, I had no idea what to expect, and I am quite pleased with the outcome.
Excerpt from interior cover page: “In today’s modern worlds, the stories of powerful Gods from Greek and Roman mythology have been thought of mostly as folklore. However, the truth is that for thousand of years, Gods and Goddesses have been living on Earth in human form. Many have admiration and respect for the human race.
Now the Goddess of Beauty known as Venus had begun to recruit other powerful Gods to join her in a plan to return to the ‘glory days’ of old – the days where Gods and Goddesses were feared and worshipped by all. And she will stop at nothing to get what she desires most…”
What further peaked my interest to open the pages was that feline curiosity of ‘how will Pat Shand revise Greek/Roman mythological tales for us?’. Tackling Greek mythology in the comic book realm was tinkered with somewhat recently by Vertigo comics in a title called Greek Street which was basically the same exact formula & plotlines used for Vertigo’s Fables title, and I don’t believe Greek Street had the success that FableS did.
The opening caption of Godstorm already had me: “The world is a STORY and I the constant reader.”
If for nothing else, I fell in love with this quote, it’s such a simple yet impacting variation of Shakespeare’s ‘all the world’s a stage’, but so much more. We, as people, always enjoy ‘people watching’, and writers especially; we perceive everything in order to write in great detail about it, to make it feel as real as possible. This caption being the thought process of the lead character, says so much in that he is the proverbial “writer” of this world.
We are thus introduced to the lead character of this issue, Gregor Brontios, who is painting an angel fighting a man. Three panels later, for one brief panel, we see this ordinary man’s appearance transform into a God, Zeus. He mentions that he has been living as a man, as a mortal, and that perhaps his life on Earth is weakening him.
He enters a hall with extraordinary paintings decorating the walls, of what looks like other gods and goddesses, his children. The paintings are memories he has of his children, beautifully collected so he can remember them and surround him like his own children never really have. He thinks of the many great and terrible things his children have done without his presence; to see how some have become heroes and he foolishly abandoned them; how he has a sense of sadness knowing his children don‘t need him. He feels he is no longer a king and that he has never really been their father. We get brief flashbacks of Gregor as Zeus having encounters with Perseus and Hercules.
Gregor (Zeus) also mentions that most of his children live on Earth as mortals, not knowing their history and completely unaware of their destinies. He feels it is best for them that way, and to live and die as mortals do but perhaps this isn’t his choice to make anymore, due to his anguish.
The centerpiece painting in this hall is of one of his children named Zagreus, in what he describes as the worst of the memories of ‘his greatest failure’. We enter a quick flashback of Gregor’s time as Zeus with Zagreus, a flashback that is horrifically depicted in the painting. Zagreus found some mortals intolerable because they worshipped another God, not Zeus nor Zagreus, and they refused to bow to Zagreus who wanted to be worshipped just as his father. Zeus, feeling that Zagreus tarnished his name and kingdom, banishes Zagreus from Olympus and throws him off a cliff.
Since many others within the Grimm Universe are fighting for control over the realm of Earth, he knows that his children are being “awakened”. The ones living as mortals are “being flooded by both good and bad memories of their past”, one in particular he mentions is named Heather Angelios. He knows that others will awaken soon, like Perseus, Hercules and Zagreus.
More of this story gets covered in the Grimm Fairy Tales 2012 Annual Edition, which Godstorm #0 gives us a sneak peek into.
Though this was Issue #0, a story to start the story, I loved it and it definitely wet my appetite for more! The art and writing in this are so simple yet so strong! There is so much to see, especially as Gregor is walking through his hall of paintings. It isn’t “hidden” like a DVD Easter egg, they are noticeable subtleties. Nothing about this issue is intended to make you guess, you get the point of the art, you get the point of the story, yet it isn’t thrown into your face or dumbed down. This issue has that happy medium of “this is my first comic book ever”, and “I’ve been reading Zenescope books since they started”.
Like I said at the start of this review about a quote, I will say it again to sum up this comic: simple yet impacting! Godstorm #0 is a great kick-off to what I think is only one part of a story that is going to be a grand and epic event within the Grimm Universe that Zenescope gives us as a whole.
One thing is for sure though…’a storm IS coming!’