When Radical Comics first came on to the scene a few years ago I really didn’t think they’d last long due to the production quality of their books. Oh, not that the production was poor, in fact it was just the opposite—It was almost TOO good! Square bound books printed on the highest quality stock with fully painted interiors… I mean, how could these guys possibly survive in the competitive comic book marketplace without pricing their books twice as much as everyone else? Hell, I still don’t know how they’re doing it, but I don’t care! The other thing you have to love about Radical is that they’ve had their success without venturing into the already too-crowded superhero genre. Good for them!
Legends: The Enchanted is an all-new and original graphic novel written and illustrated by Nick Percival. Think of it as Mother Goose & Grimm’s fairy tales meets Steampunk. The fairytale worlds of the children’s storybooks are replaced by a world that is dark and industrialized. Those characters are brought to life by Percival in stark reality… Jack the Giant Killer is a mercenary, hired by villagers to take care of menacing giants and other monsters with a seemingly endless supply of magic beans that confer various powers on him… Little Red Riding Hood hunts down mechanically enhanced werewolves with a pair of razor sharp scythes… Goldilox is a leather-clad badass who teams up with the gargantuan “Baby Bear” to rid the world of evil… Rapunzel can control her long tresses to tear the heads off her enemies… they are joined by other members of the Enchanted: Hansel and Gretel, Jack Nimble, and Miss Muffet.
As in most fairy tales, the antagonist is an evil witch, a repulsive, rotting hag who finds a way to kill Pinocchio and destroy the charm that protects the Enchanted, making them mortal. The Hag unleashes her ultimate weapon on the Enchanted, her son, the destructive troll who lives under the bridge, an unstoppable force!
Percival has done something damn near impossible… he’s breathed new life into old fairy tales that have become irrelevant in a politically correct world where it’s considered bad parenting to read children stories that have any hint of terror or the weird. These fables have been replaced by The Wiggles and Elmo (who frankly are more terrifying than any wicked witch). Legends: The Enchanted thus becomes a fairy tale for adults.
Percival’s art is both dazzling and brooding, with hints of influence of the great fantasy artist, Brom. You can almost smell the stench of decay coming off the pages. Think of a long abandoned manufacturing facility in any rustbelt city and multiply that a hundred times to get the feel of Percival’s world. The story is self-contained in this book and hopefully we will see more new stories from Legends: The Enchanted in the future.
Click the cover image to go to this article at Newsarama.