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Series offers a whole new light to 'Grim(m) Fairy Tales'

For comic fans looking for something besides superhero fare, yet still embedded in fantasy, Zenescope's "Grimm Fairy Tales" is a dream come true.

For comic fans looking for something besides superhero fare, yet still embedded in fantasy, Zenescope's "Grimm Fairy Tales" is a dream come true.

Ironically, if there is a mythological genre that is considered more "kids' stuff" than comics, it is classic fairy tales. As with comics, this is a false presumption.

In fact, part of the beauty of "Grimm Fairy Tales" is that not only does it have a modern take on each fairy tale set in the present, but it shows more often than not that the classic story was never that innocent to begin with.

Indeed, when one looks at the tale of "Rapunzel" in issue No. 19, you wonder why more kids haven't had nightmares after having it read at bedtime.

Whether through the literary device of having a character literally give a book of fairy tales to someone in the present day to emphasize the analogy contained within its pages or through the mysterious character Sela, these timeless tales are brought to life and become relevant again to the reader.

This is a smart, intelligent, good-looking title. The aesthetically pleasing art is most obvious in a tale featuring lingerie-clad babes like issue No. 16's "Little Miss Muffett." However, while each issue has its share of attractive women, tales like issue No. 12's "The Pied Piper," No. 18's "Three Billy Goats Gruff" and the aforementioned "Rapunzel," each conveys, to varying degrees, a sense of horror and dread.

Despite the bleakness of these tales, there is hope, too, embodied by Sela, who in issue No. 18 wonders if she has done any good and whether she has made a difference in the world. She is then reminded of the time she told a boy named David to stand up to bullies on the playground. He learned a lesson in courage he would never forget until the day he sacrificed himself in the first Gulf War to save his fellow soldiers.

His act inspired all the men in his unit. Some of them performed their own heroic acts, which inspired still others who witnessed them and still more who read or heard the stories on the news.

It is then that Sela realizes that a few simple words from her had an enormous ripple effect. Which, ironically enough, explains why these fairy tales have endured through the ages.

As for Comics Guy, he has only this to say: Pick up "Grimm Fairy Tales" and see, in a whole new light, stories you thought you knew.

Marvel to fans: Drop dead

Comics Guy is rarely harsh toward anything in print, but he has to make an exception this week. The ending to the recent "One More Day" storyline, in which not only was the Peter Parker/Mary Jane marriage annulled by the devil but the last 20 years of Spidey stories and character development erased as well, is outrageous. About two-thirds of those polled on Newsarama feel the same way, and more than 80 percent are not happy with the story.

Comics Guy has rarely been this annoyed. If any Spidey fans out there feel the same way, you have to vote with your wallet and not purchase "Amazing Spider-Man" until this travesty is reversed. It's the only thing that will make Joe Quesada and the rest of Marvel listen.

Chloe is on board

Chloe Sullivan, a longtime character on the CW's "Smallville," will make her first appearance in the Man of Steel's comics universe in "Superman" No. 674 in March. Writer Kurt Busiek has said he was inspired to add Chloe to the "Superman" supporting cast by the fact that longtime characters like Jimmy Olsen were also introduced in other media before appearing in the comics.

Busiek acknowledged that some changes were necessary to the character to make her unique in the book.

"The problem we'd have faced if we brought her in with the same background as the TV show is that she'd fill two basic roles - the Girl from Back Home and the Reporter - and those roles are both pretty solidly filled in the adult Superman cast, by Lana and Lois," Busiek told Newsarama. "So she's got to have a different spin, one that lets her occupy a different role from either of them . . . . She's the new intern at the Daily Planet, fresh out of journalism school. That'll make her clearly different from Lois and Lana, and at the same time more familiar to watchers of the show." *