March 25th, 2014

Review: Grimm Vol. 1 by Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt

Grimm Vol. 1: The Coins of Zakynthos
by Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt

A spin-off of the Grimm TV series

After receiving a cryptic phone call from his mother, homicide detective Nick Burkhardt rushes to Europe. Like Nick, his mother is a Grimm, a hunter of supernatural forces, and she has been tasked with destroying the coins of Zakynthos, three coins which grant terrible power to whoever dares to use them. If she’s called him, there’s serious trouble. As back-up, Nick brings his police partner Hank and a blutbad (essentially, a werewolf) named Monroe. The three caballeros begin their search for Nick’s mom as soon as they arrive, but their arrival has not gone unnoticed by those who do not welcome an American Grimm snooping in their affairs…

While it’s not necessary to have watched the TV show to understand the events of the comics, it really helps. I’m not sure exactly where this fits into the show, chronologically – I’m guessing it’ll be towards the end of the third season, since there have been some mysterious emails from Nick’s mother popping up. The graphic novel also directly ties into the episode in the first season, which introduced both Nick’s mother and the coins. Knowing the background information makes this story a lot more interesting and fun, and the show is worth checking out on its own merits, so if you haven’t yet watched Grimm give it a try!

But back to the comic. The story is tightly plotted and feels just like an episode from the TV show. There’s plenty of action with a wealth of fighting scenes. One of the new characters is the first Grimm that we’ve seen outside of Nick’s immediate family, and she’s a beautiful blonde fighting machine. I’ll be curious to see if she eventually appears in the TV series. But unlike some comic adaptations of shows or movies, the characters sound and act like their television counterparts, and that’s a huge relief.

If only they looked like them! The art in the graphic novel is somewhat uneven. It’s perfectly serviceable, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain. It just doesn’t look quite right. I don’t expect the drawings to look exactly like the actors in the show, but the Wesen version of characters (Wesen = transformed state, the “werewolf” type version) often doesn’t match how it looks in the show. Monroe, for example, looks more like Chewbacca then Grimm’s blutbad. Heavy shadow and thick linework doesn’t help. The coloring is rather poor, too – it’s obviously all computer-rendered, and the shadowing is very blocky. These factors all combine to make the figures rather stiff, even when in motion.

I give it three stars because I do believe there’s a bit of a stiff learning curve for readers new to the series, but I think that fans of the TV show will easily consider this more of a 4 or 5-star book.

3 out of 5 stars

To read more about Grimm Vol. 1, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.

Peeking into the in:
2013: Under the Jolly Roger (Bloody Jack #3) by L.A. Meyer
2012: Vacation: Spring Break in Ashland
2011: Moyasimon Vol. 1 by Masayuki Ishikawa
2010: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
2009: Vacation in Yosemite