Review: Cinderella: Age of Darkness (1 of 3)

Cinderella: Age of Darkness

Title: Cinderella: Age of Darkness (1 of 3)
Publisher: Xenoscope
Creative Team: Joe Brusha and Pat Shand (story), Pat Shand (writer), Ryan Best (artist), Renato Guerra (colorist), Jim Campbell (letterer), Nicole Glade (editor)

The latest offering by upstart indie company, Zenescope, is a Cinderella story like you've never heard before. Of course ALL of their fairy tales are unlike any you've heard before; that's kind of the point. In this version of the tale, 'Cindy', has drawn the ire of the Dark Queen for her repeated failures as an assassin. Rather than just kill Cindy herself, the Queen has decided to task her with a suicide mission: Hunt down and kill Hades, the last living God. Armed with her own sword, three 'gifts', and repeated advice to just run away, Cindy is out to prove once and for all that she's not an idiot...

The Story

Cindy is portrayed as a slightly air-headed badass with a chip on her shoulder. Not always making the best decisions, she has an affinity for style points. She’s a flawed character and those are the best kinds. It allows room for growth as her story develops, I just hope she doesn’t lose any of her charm along the way. Her internal dialogue is wonderfully entertaining and is worthy of a good laugh. There are several moving parts to the plot as we see things from Cindy’s point of view, as well as Hades’. Shand has us jumping back and forth as the story develops and gets a lot accomplished in setting up this 3 issue mini-series. The moments of levity mixed with action will have you reading at a quick pace. You won’t want to stop and study the panels as you get wrapped up in the dialogue.

That’s not to say that the art isn’t worth it though…

The Art

I won’t bury the lead here. The art is beautiful. Ryan Best delivers dynamic action sequences and he really excels in a place where I don’t think artists get nearly enough credit when they do it right, and criticism for not doing it at all: facial expressions. We get so much out of a  single lift of the eyebrow, it allows us to see that these characters have genuine personalities and aren’t just ‘cookie cutter’ robots. The backgrounds provide just the right amount of detail so it doesn’t clutter, but still give you a sense of depth. Movement is clearly defined in a way that it doesn’t look like characters are standing still and ‘posing’, there is a lot of life in these pages. It’s enjoyable enough that you can re-read this issue, just to admire the artwork.

Favorite NON-Spoiler(ish) Line:

"It's less ‘I don't know’ and more ‘I don't give a crap’. Either way, I get a version of what I want."

Summary

The first of three issues in the Cinderalla: Age of Darkness mini-series, by Zenescope, was a lot of fun. It contains a nice mix of violence, drama and levity blended with wonderful art. Pat Shand once again delivers a fantastical first chapter in his latest comic book fairy-tale adventure.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0
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