Review: FAIRY QUEST #1

Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Humberto Ramos
Release date: February 6, 2013

FairyQuest_01_preview_Page_1A Kickstarter darling from the minds of Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos, this series is now being re-released in a single issue format by BOOM! Studios.

The comic focuses primarily on Red Riding Hood, her Wolf, and their quest to get as far away from their ‘story’ and the Think Police as possible. As an issue 1 and introduction to a new universe, I think Fairy Quest #1 worked quite well. By the time I finished the 25 or so pages, I felt comfortable in the Fablewood world and had an understanding of the many many characters introduced. Fairy Quest isn’t the first comic to approach these cast of characters, but it still creates a unique setting and story. A lot of updated or modernized fairy tale characters in popular media have added grittiness and realism, while Fairy Quest kept its fairy tale adventure feel. The dialogue was light-hearted and creative, and I really enjoyed the opening scene where they were talking about the script as if Red Riding Hood could have possibly been performing an Old English variation of her story. The character interaction and fun dialogue did the most to flesh out the plot and universe. However, the evil half of the characters didn’t stand up so well against the heroes of the story.  Mister Grimm works as the main villain of the story, but his portrayal felt inconsistent through the issue. In some parts he came off as only slightly annoyed, while towards the end he became the maniacal evil figure I expected from page 1. I also know something called ‘The Mind Eraser’ is going to be bad news, but there was nothing to solidify its reputation.  With how the evil was presented, I had a tough time connecting to the characters of the story and why they truly feared Mister Grimm and the Think Police as much as they did.

Humberto Ramos and the art team steal the show in Fairy Quest though. The characters were detailed and designs so creative that they jumped off the pages. With characters as old as time, it’s difficult to make them instantly recognizable and also unique to your own style.  His interpretations — especially Red Riding Hood — were fantastic, and his original creations blended in perfectly with the fairy tale characters of old. The lettering was some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. From the story book font for the narration to the ‘too big to be contained in a dialogue bubble’ words, it all looked great. The only real gripe I have on the art is the action was tough to follow. There was a lack of movement which gave me confusion in the transitioning from panel to panel. It’s a small misstep in the otherwise near perfect artwork.

Even though it started as a graphic novel, Fairy Quest really lends itself well to the single issue format and I look forward to issue 2. If you are a fan of adventure or the creators, then you owe it to yourself to pick up this extremely strong first issue!

Verdict: 8.0/10

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