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Legends the Enchanted #0 Comic Review - -

Story 9.0
Art 9.5
Value 8.0
Total 9.0
Publisher: Radical Publishing
Release Date: 08/07/2010
Reviewer: Troy Mayes


Legends the Enchanted #0

If you only buy one graphic novel this year, although why youíd restrict yourself like that I donít know, then you should give some serious consideration to Nick Percivalís Legends: The Enchanted.  

From the stunning artwork that manages to make such ugly and disgusting creatures in a crazy steampunk and magic influenced world look beautiful, to the imaginative and thrilling story Legends is indeed a legendary comic from cover to cover.  

Percival takes something with which many of us are familiar and in fact grew up with, fairy tales, throws them into a blender filled with awesome, adds a good dose of Ďoh snapí,  and presents us with Legends.  

Your favorite fairy tale characters like Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Goldilocks, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk and Pinocchio, to name a few, are not actually fairy tales anymore. They are real and they are the Enchanted, a group of outlaws, mercenaries, bounty hunters and warriors who have been charmed by ancient magic so they are free from harm. They live in a strange land where magic and technology mix and evil creatures roam free. They use their powers to protect the people of this land, although itís not a wholly noble pursuit. The Enchanted operate without a care in the world as they know they canít die, but when Pinocchio is found dead they begin to worry that someone is trying to kill them all.  

The story is surprisingly open. From the get go you are presented with the bad guys and their ultimate goals. Thereís no real mystery to the story but thatís not exactly a bad thing. Itís quite a thrilling story as you know how big the stakes are, you know the risks and this really draws you in. You want to know whether the Enchanted will be able to band together and stop their deaths, and this desire for knowledge is fueled by the comicís blistering pace. Itís roughly 100 pages long but thereís so much happening and Percival doesnít let you catch your breath for a minute.  

Percival really focuses on the action in Legends and you get the sense that they are fairy tale superheroes, just with a more ruthless mentality and living in a far more messed up world. There is plenty of backstabbing and deceit to make the villains seem like villains.  When the Squire shows his hand, after being asked ďThis is a ruse, yes?Ē in reference to his dealings with the Hag, youíre not surprised by his answer.  Also Percival isnít afraid to shed a little blood on the good guysí side and this makes the threat to the Enchanted seem very real and very dangerous. You donít discount for a second that most, if not all of them could die.  

The world Percival has created is just so cool. Itís rather odd seeing someone like Rapunzel using her hair to break the necks of demonic foes, yet Percival has created such a rich and believable world that you canít imagine Rapunzel doing anything else with such long hair. Legends is the type of world that sucks you in and makes you feel a part of whatís going on. This sense of immersion is aided by each of the Enchanted possessing unique traits and something of a unique job. Jack kills giants, Red Riding Hood wolves, Goldilox is a gun for hire who gives her money to the poor. Apart from blowing you away when you first see these fairy tale characters, their varying lives send you to different locations where you meet a diverse group of people, get to know the characters a little bit and get a sense that this is a fully developed world. The one criticism is that Percival has maybe cast his net too wide and tried to incorporate too many characters. The deaths and other events are shocking because you know the characters from your childhood but you donít really feel for them within the context of the story because you donít get a chance to become properly attached to their new form.  

A lot of what makes Percivalís world seem so cool is his brilliant artwork. The pages donít just look like pages in a comic but a series of paintings; such is the skill with which the images have been crafted. The Squire comments that the world is diseased and you can see that in Percivalís art. The world looks dirty; it looks like its dying. Everything is very dark, colors are muted and thereís a haze that covers the world. The monsters are also some of the coolest and most twistedly disgusting Iíve ever seen. For instance, the Razorhead gangs actually have razors in their head while the Hag looks like she is slowly dying. They look menacing and twisted and thereís something about their skin, with its variety of colors and random bulges that makes your skin crawl. The Enchanted look great although some are more recognizable than others. Redís red hood was a standout as it was often sweeping through the panel like it had a life of its own. The novel is gory and violent and awesome. Watching Jack or Red killing wolves and giants with glee and ease it just awesome and Redís returning sickle is a classic piece of comic book weaponry. 

I cannot praise Legends: The Enchanted enough.  It pulls you in, sits you down and assaults your senses the whole way through. Before you have a chance to come up for air before you realize youíve finished it. After that youíll just want to flick through the pages and marvel at the superb artwork, which is some of the best you will ever see. Seriously, buy this book! 


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