December 13, 2012

Review: Fairest Issue 10

Did Jack Horner survive last issue's brutal attack? The story behind Rapunzel's missing children is finally revealed in this emotionally unnerving issue!

We last saw our protagonists in issue 9, Jack Horner was facing near certain death and Rapunzel and Joel sharing an intimate moment! The situation is a bit different in Fairest issue 10, as writer Lauren Beukes finally provides readers with further details as to what exactly happened to Rapunzel's children.  Riveting and emotional scenes only barely describe the anguish she had to endure, as her children were literally stolen from her. Beukes truly showcases a personal and traumatic story for her in issue 10, and one wonders what the emotional impact truly was on Rapunzel all these years, and her eventual quest for answers and revenge. After reading issue 10, I was definitely moved by these intense scenes. It also leaves us questioning Rapunzel's own mental state at this point. Could her rash actions end up harming not only her but those around?

Beukes adds a bit of comic-relief in this issue with Bigby Wolf and Frau Totenkinder who make their way to Japan. Additionally, readers get treated to some Japanese pop culture references and homages (Easter eggs?), some obvious and some not (Miyazaki, Nakata/Suzuki are some hints that we know and will provide here for this particular issue). It does add a bit humor but the verdict is still out on what readers generally think of these elements in this storyline. Personally though, it's a great touch to see these subtleties, given the dark underlying elements of the story itself. Beukes leaves readers with another cliffhanger ending just as Mayumi closes in for the kill!

Artist Inaki Miranda does another superb job with his work. The panels and scene transitions are structurally, a combination of complex and simple narrative work and style, matching Beukes' script. Miranda goes full-page at times providing readers with more awe with the story and carefully leading the reader to one scene after another. The Rapunzel birth scenes were the highlight of this issue for me, with Miranda adding an extra bit of suspense and horror during those traumatic times. The color work is a bit better this around than last issue's darker tones which lacked some contrast within the panels.

Final Verdict: A

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