Issue: Grimm Fairy Tales #53: The Fairy and the Dwarf
Release Date: December 15, 2010
Author: Joe Brusha
Artist: Alisson Rodrigues & Roberto Viacava
Cover A: Caio Cacau
Cover B: Steven Cummings & Sanju R. Nivangune
Virginia Comic-Con Exclusive: Eric Basaldua & Caesar Rodriguez
Colors: Studio Cirque
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Grimm Fairy Tales #53: The Fairy and the Dwarf opens on Sela fighting for her life in the fairytale realm of Myst against the shape-shifting wizard Morgarzara. Just when it seems that Sela has run out of luck, yet another magical creature comes to her rescue, this time not the Golden Stag of the previous issue, but Blake’s Phoenix, Pyros. Even with Pyros’s help Sela is still in grave danger, and it takes the intervention of a dwarf named Bolder to get our heroine to safety at last. Safety takes the form of Bolder’s home, where Sela gets much more than she bargained for on her quest to save Erik’s soul.
The majority of Grimm Fairy Tales #53 is told in flashback as the dwarf recounts the tale of how Death came to be, well, Death. Since I don’t find Sela’s quest to rescue Erik’s soul and reunite it with his body very compelling (that’s just my personal preference, mind you), I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Death’s past as a young Captain of Arms named Morrigan.
Grimm Fairy Tales #53 sticks more closely to a traditional fairytale storyline than any of the recent issues have, using the well-known trope of forbidden love. When Morrigan was human, he fell in love with a princess, but they were forced to keep their love a secret because Morrigan’s station wasn’t considered worthy of the love of a future queen. The princess’s father enlisted the help of an evil dwarf named Blags, who was tasked with disposing of the Captain of Arms. The involvement of an evil fairy only complicated the situation, and ultimately Morrigan found himself faced with a terrible choice: give up his humanity and become a slave for eternity, or live out his mortal life as a horribly disfigured outcast.
Morrigan’s story illustrates both the pros and cons of seeking revenge, and Grimm Fairy Tales #53 goes a long way towards explaining Death’s motives for striking a deal with Sela. Of course, the idea that Death as we traditionally think of him (black cloak, pitchfork, etc.) hasn’t always existed raises some nagging questions that I doubt the Grimm Fairy Tales series will address, but here’s hoping that a future issue may take a run at explaining who, or what (if anything), was Death before a mortal was transformed into the infamous reaper.
Readers who are waiting to discover what happened to the shape-shifting wizard Morgarzera after Bolder stepped in to help Sela in Grimm Fairy Tales #52 must wait no longer. The end of issue #53 returns to Morgarzera just after he falls from the cliff Bolder created when he rescued Sela, and I think that readers will be very surprised to see what fate befalls the evil wizard.
Once again Zenescope provides readers with a beautifully illustrated comic book issue. While the majority of the Grimm Fairy Tales issues seem a bit lacking in content, Grimm Fairy Tales #53 has a robust storyline that, although somewhat predictable, is extremely entertaining and even thought provoking. Now that Sela knows Death’s history, it will be interesting to see what happens when the two are reunited at the end of Sela’s quest. Clearly Sela’s quest to save Erik’s soul is motivated by her love for her former husband and given the fact that Death’s actions were also motivated by love increases the likelihood that he will honor his agreement with Sela when she returns from Myst. Hopefully the developments of issue #53 indicate a happy resolution to our heroine’s predicament, but only time (and additional issues) will tell.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars