Damsels: Mermaids #1 Review

With the main series thriving as it steadily finds its footing, is this really the right time to tell a side story?  Read on to find out.

The official description from Dynamite:

The Little Mermaid’s fairy tale had a happy ending… but not for her. Now she lives a secluded life away from her people, angry at the world, courting danger at every turn, and daring death to find her. When a handsome prince is exiled on her lonely island, he offers her a chance to pay the world back, asking for her aid in his battle against the oppressive Hieromancers of Atlantis. But can she trust him? Or is he simply the next charming prince in line to betray her?

This classic under the sea fairy tale has been reinterpreted quite a few times, but as this latest jaunt proves there’s always room for one more.  As a rather strong creative team delivers a satisfying start to what could be an engaging experience for its devoted audience, I’m left with only a few minor complaints.

The script by Matt Sturges carries enough meat to stand on its own as it highlights a characters that’s been only lightly played with in the main story line.  I was thoroughly impressed with the depth he brought to her while keeping her tragic history largely in the shadows.  Instead we focus in on this specific adventure in her life.  Beyond that the inclusion of several new characters and creatures allow for a fitting extension of this universe in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive in any way.

Jean Paul Deshong impresses from the first page to the final panel.  The illustrator uses delicate but deliberate line work to create differences between the two converging worlds.  His interpretation of our primary Mermaid offers a simpler but empathetic persona that emphasizes the sturdier aspects of this outing.  Save for a few minor sequences, where her facial ques seemed a tad bit off from the text, this was an exemplary collection that made a skillful display.

Damsels: Mermaids #1 is a good comic that earns a recommendation.

4/5

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