Overview

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland #0

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Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland #0

Credits

  • Words: Joe Brusha
  • Art: Jean Paul DeShong
  • Colors: Jason Embury
  • Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
  • Price: $1.99
  • Release Date: Jan 27, 2010

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland #0, written by Joe Brusha, depicts a Neverland fallen to the control of a seemingly evil dictator. Making it his own, he has devised a way to become immortal and rule his kingdom forever. This malevolent ruler goes by the name, Pan. Wait…what? Pan?

In this stylish re-imagining of J.M. Barrie’s universe, we are introduced to a darker, more sinister Neverland. In this zero issue, this reality is only glimpsed at the end of the story, but set up nicely with some time spent on our would-be heroes.  Couple that with some good old-fashioned foreboding and you’ve got yourself a solid beginning.  

The story is framed by the abduction of a child. The police investigate this odd case with nothing to go on other than a weird powder next to the missing boy’s bed. This scene was well put together up until the head investigator shares his thoughts about a shiny powder. This is an occurring problem with this book on a whole. It begins on a path of real and darker atmosphere, and then falls past the fine line of cheesy. The lapses are brief and few but really do break up the earned momentum. 

We next meet Wendy, Michael, and John. Their modern day counterparts are similar in characterization to the original source, but bumped up age wise and revealed to be orphans. Wendy, who seems considerably older, maybe early twenties, takes care of her brothers, but is an equal. It is a nice and subtle bit of character work that is sometimes ruined by the writer’s choices. The reader is taken out of a few of the more naturalistic scenes between the siblings with overly expository dialogue. It’s a forgivable transgression, seeing as this issue’s purpose is that of introduction.

The story entwines with a character by the name of Nathan Cross. He has a prosthetic hand, is seemingly homeless, and is mentally unstable. We are privy to a conversation he has with his psychologist and a cancellation of their appointment. The scene is given no context and seems out of place. Until the back-up material, that is.

We are only given three or so pages of King Pan upon his throne, as the child abduction thread comes full circle. We are shown a glimpse of the stakes and depths on which these characters operate. To the creative team’s credit, it is definitely eerie. The issue, and hopefully the rest of the series, is a success despite its flaws because of the organic ability it has to pervert our pre-conceived notions. To most, Peter Pan is the eternal child with a sense of wonder and awe. Thinking about it deeper, it’s not unrealistic for this selfish child to grow callous, demanding, and foreboding. When you can get everything you want, getting the rest is the only challenge left. If this series continues to explore this notion in an exciting manner, then I’d venture to guess we’ll be hearing more about it as it rolls forward.

In mentioning the back-up material, it is presented as session logs between Cross and his doctor. This text reveals some information about the character and how he may eventually fit into the whole story. It is info important to the plot as well as the character’s personal journey. Having read similar back up pieces like this before, I was impressed with this one for its brevity as well as its weight of insight. Very well done and worth the extra five minutes to read it all. 

An underlying theme to all the proceedings is that of child abduction and the surviving family members. This element of tragedy is palpable and if sustainable over the whole miniseries, could provide an emotional gravitas that is necessary for a story like this to work. Fingers crossed.

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Comments

  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Jan 23, 2010 at 4:49am

    awesome!! Cannot wait to get the complete series in my little greedy hands!!

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