Issue: Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends #15
Story: Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco
Writer: Raven Gregory
Artist: Deivis Goetten, Fabio Jansen
Colors: Steve Downer
Editor: Matt Rogers
Cover A: Robert Atkins, Falk
Cover B: Marat Mychaels, Ivan Nunes
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Myths & Legends #15 is the conclusion to the series’s four-part “Beauty and the Beast” story arc that began in issue #12 when readers were introduced to Jeff and Jenna. The product of an abusive home, Jeff thought he’d seen the last of his family when he finally made his getaway, but his brother’s suicide brought Jeff right back where he never wanted to be again — and gave him a new target for his animosity: his brother Drew’s former girlfriend, Jenna. After Drew committed suicide, Jeff’s desire for revenge is so potent that it begins to manifest externally, changing the once handsome young man into a horrible horned beast with a thirst for vengeance.
This installment of Myths & Legends opens as Jenna discovers some of Jeff’s “handiwork” when she returns home one evening. In traditional bad-guy style Jeff can’t keep himself from delivering a rather long and ill-timed monologue blaming Jenna for Drew’s death and throwing insults at his target while he bleeds from a small but seemingly significant chest wound. Jenna isn’t one to be pushed around without fighting back, however, and she defends herself both verbally and physically, being more prepared to face Jeff (in whatever form he might take) than he expected.
While monologues delivered by the evil villain as he or she should, arguably, be taking more direct and lethal action towards his or her victim may seem a bit cliché to readers at this point, the fact remains that this is a tried and true expository technique. Without Jeff’s monologue/pseudo-dialogue with Jenna, new readers would be completely lost and those who follow the Myths & Legends series might find the conclusion of its “Beauty and the Beast” storyline a bit less satisfying. Plus, the extended exposition of the issue’s first seven pages provides artists Deivis Goetten and Fabio Jansen and colorist Steve Downer with ample opportunity to illustrate (in the style characteristic of virtually all of Zenescope Entertainment’s ongoing comic series) some really gnarly action sequences.
Jeff’s transformation makes him stronger and more resilient than he was when he was still human and allows him to escape — albeit narrowly — from arrest after Jenna calls the police. After making his escape, Jeff retreats to the woods where he runs into another Grimm Fairy Tales regular, Baba Yaga. Readers won’t believe what happens when the Russian fairy tale character appropriated by Zenescope for Grimm Fairy Tales gives Jeff an ultimatum — one that he’s not supposed to be able to refuse.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing Jeff again, whether in the Myths & Legends series or the main Grimm Fairy Tales series (and don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler). Although he’s clearly constructed as an “evil” character, Jeff’s my kind of evil, visually evoking Disney’s Beast of the infamous 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast, which probably helps me feel a bit more warm and fuzzy towards Zenescope’s version given the Disney character’s “good-conquers-all” transformation at the end of that movie (it’s a kids’ film, after all).
As always, I recommend Zenescope’s Myths & Legends series to anyone that enjoys the publisher’s other comic books or is looking for a different take on some of the stories we remember from childhood. Zenescope’s talented team of writers, artists, and colorists never fail to deliver an entertaining and visually stimulating read, and the Myths & Legends series is no exception!
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars