Grimm fans who attended Free Comic Book Day Saturday and this week’s comic book Wednesday were treated to a double dose of their favorite series with both a free full-length comic story and an action-packed Issue #1. Now in its second season on NBC, Grimm is in contention for the best fantasy series on television. And unlike the typical comic book spin-off that is stuck in a story that doesn’t veer far from the TV scripts, the ongoing story of Portland Detective Nick Burkhart in the new comic book series actually continues key plot lines from the TV series, taking characters where it would be costly to take them on the TV series.
The comic book series opener in the FCBD comic, Issue #0, provides an origin story overlaid on what could be a Wesen-of-the-week episode of the TV series. It also reintroduces Nick’s mom, Kelly, played on-screen by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and her possession of the Coins of Zakynthos, which have a unique history, revealed in the pages of Issue #1. Side-stepping story obstacles and secrets yet to be revealed to viewers, like whether or not Nick’s girlfriend Juliet will remember Nick after losing her memory from a cursed cat bite, the story takes Nick, police department partner Detective Hank Griffin and Blutbad vegan pal Monroe to Vienna in pursuit of Kelly. Kelly had left Nick a cryptic voicemail message, sending Nick & Co. on this new adventure far away from the streets of Portland.
Told in alternating first person, the point of view switches between Nick as he demystifies life as not so shiny as a Grimm family heir recounting the history of the seven Royal families, and Kelly as she is being held hostage somewhere in Vienna.
Artist José Malaga re-creates the look and feel of the TV series perfectly, from the animal-influenced prosthetic and CGI Wesen creatures to the streets of Portland and nearby darkened corners. Covers by Alex Ross and Whilce Portacio re-create the actors and characters nicely, too. Plot developers and series creators Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt and scripters Marc Gaffen and Kyle McVey show they know their characters, especially with great dialogue, and they deftly handle the established rules of the Grimm universe.
For readers unfamiliar with the TV series, the comic book series gives enough backstory in its first two issues to bring you up to speed quickly. We learn about Nick’s aunt and the trailer and how our knowledge of historic events is not quite as accurate as we learned from the history books. Grimm the comic book is as fun as the series and should be considered a must-read for fans who can’t get enough of their weekly dose of the TV series.
Grimm Issue #0, the May 4, 2013, Free Comic Book Day issue, may still be available at comic book stores, and Issue #1 went on sale yesterday.