I haven’t yet looked at many titles from Zenescope, but that’s about to change as I take a look at the newest #1 from the Grimm Fairy Tales Presents series, Helsing. Is it good?
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Helsing #1 (Zenescope)
Born in the early 1800s and after spending who knows how long in the Underworld, Liesel Van Helsing is trying to get used to the modern era. She’s adjusting fine for the most part, still doing her vampire killing and inventing weapons for her special armory, but she does miss her father, Abraham Van Helsing. However, things take an interesting turn for her when she gets a mysterious package…
Looks like Zatanna decided to get into the vampire huntin’ business.
While it does feel like the story would benefit from reading any stories that came before (to learn exactly how she got into this time period), Pat Shand crafts a fine a first issue to this mini-series. It introduces the character relatively well; her backstory, personality, and what she does. We also get to see her in action a bit and show some of her inventing and hunting skills. A solid character introduction, but the story itself doesn’t really start going until the end of the issue once we find out what is inside the package. A bit of a shame too, since the part with her boyfriend felt like filler and possibly could have been cut out.
Outside of those two things, the writing is good albeit with some hiccups. Dialogue and narration are alright, though there are clunky and unnatural sounding lines from time to time. The pacing and transitions from scene to scene are fine, though the storytelling feels a bit off in the Journal scenes. There’s not much in the way of characterization besides Liesel and her boyfriend, though not many other characters have been introduced so far besides her former roommate. Overall, the writing gets the job done.
Now if I only knew how to make this gun a reality…
The artwork is fine for the most part. I’m not a particular fan of how the characters are drawn, with the odd and unfinished looking line work (plus the strange looking faces they make), but I do give credit that the colors aren’t too bad, the locations and layouts are decent, and the flashback in the journal looks good (I do like how they used a different artist to convey it, to give it a different feel than the rest of the comic). However, there’s just not much to write how about in regards to the artwork. Not awful, but not very special.
Is It Good?
Helsing #1 is an alright book, getting the comic off to a decent start with a good introduction to the main character and potentially interesting story, even if it only starts going at the end of the book. It may not be for everyone, but there’s nothing here that a person will ultimately hate. May be worth your time if you liked the character in her previous GFT appearances.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!