GRIMM 0 & 1
Writers: Marc Gaffen and Kyle McVey
Artist: Jose Malaga
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)
Generally it’s readily apparent that TV properties turned comics are for that rare breed of fandom that A) Still reads comics and B) loves and adores characters so much that even non-canon doings are an engaging read.
I’m a huge fan of GRIMM the TV series. When it launched the same time as “Once Upon a Time” on ABC I decried both series were ripping off Willingham’s FABLES and I would have none of either. Mrs. Douche, ever the voice reason, and staunch disbeliever of the comic medium, coerced me into giving both a shot. I dropped “Once Upon a Time” faster than you can say convoluted soap opera. GRIMM kept me though; it wasn’t a FABLES rip-off despite the spilling over of Germanic fairytales into the real world. The cop drama element of it where lead character Nick is a real cop for the Portland PD and a cop of the fantastical Wessens (pronounced Vesens) was different enough to provide sheer enjoyment for the better part of two years. First off FABLES focuses on all fictional characters and each is an immortal version of self. GRIMM takes the stance that there wasn’t just one big bad wolf or sentient rabbit, they are collectives and for the most part they simply want to live normal mundane (or mundy) lives. Secondly, it has turned into a character piece focusing not just on Nick’s dealings with the Wessens, but also all the elements of humanity like love, friendship and fear of the unknown. And sadly it’s on these points the comic simply fails.
The writers made a valiant effort, but the simple nature of the comic medium coupled with trying to be all things to all readers new and old left this is as an unsatisfying “just the tip” experience for all. My cervix is simply too deep when it comes to GRIMM as it is for most of us who have watched the series since day one. And the fact the comic is picking up from season 2’s finale, provides a very confusing experience given the current happenings on the TV show.
New readers I fear simply won’t care. Who is Nick, his Blutbad friend Monroe, his partner Hank and their Hexen Beast Captain? Why do they all know about this world and how come it’s so easy for them to fly off to Germany to hunt down demonic coins when I have to go through 12 HR requests to take my dog to the vet? It stretches lines of credibility even for comic fans. Longtime fans will understand the discovery of this world, how Hank found out about the GRIMMS, how the Captain was once believed on the side of evil and just how unique the relationship is between Nick and Monroe.
I’ll admit the inclusion of a new female GRIMM was pretty cool, and I would have appreciated it ten-fold if I hadn’t just watched Nick get back together with his estranged girlfriend Juliette. That’s called timing folks….bad timing.
Issue Zero actually had things right, it provided a moment in time that could easily coincide with the show’s chronology. It held no consequence, but it was fun. Issue 1 simply sets up too different of a universe. Sadly issue zero was a free comic day giveaway that probably won’t make it into any of the right hands.
On art, Alex Ross’ cover is gorgeous and really captures an emotional visage of the real-life players. As for the interior art…it lives behind a spectacular cover by Alex Ross.
GRIMM isn’t a failure and I think there are corrective measures that can take place, but I’ll certainly be walking away from this first arc so I can go on enjoying the show.