Grimm Fairy Tales: Tarot #2
Written by: Joe Brusha
Art by: Renato Rei and Grostieta
Published by: Zenescope Entertainment

I really looked forward to reading Tarot #1 after reading the Robyn Hood: Tarot one-shot a few months back, which introduced me to the awesome villain Nataliya. I waited and waited and finally I found Tarot……….issue 2. I missed the first issue? Damn. Luckily I was able to acquire that first issue rather quickly and read both issues back-to-back.

Before I start my review I am going to compare this book to The Empire Strikes Back. Imagine you had never seen the original Star Wars and walked into the theater to watch Empire. You would sit there and watch one phenomenal film. You’d be a bit lost because there aren’t many callbacks to the first film but, beyond that, I’d imagine you’d be blown away.

That is exactly how I felt reading the first two issues of Tarot. I was pretty floored by what I read.  The story is great. Artwork is phenomenal. The book has a massive, epic feel to it. Even though I read the lead-in to this series I just felt a little lost. It didn’t take away from enjoying the book at all. The thing is that this book takes place smack dab in the middle of Zenescope’s enormous Grimm Fairy Tales universe. There is a ton of backstory leading up to the events of Tarot and, as I haven’t read Zenescope for the past few years, I had no clue who some of the characters are and, for the ones that I do know, how they’ve grown as characters.

After dispatching Robyn Hood I thought that gypsy villainess Nataliya would be the queen bee within the Tarot organization. But it seems she is on the outs with them as she is roaming Earth saving a guy named Talisman from the Tarot’s clutches. There is much going on in the many different fairy tale worlds as kings and queens all plot their different schemes. Beautiful queens and diabolical kings – all with their own agendas.

We get a glimpse of these plots in Tarot #2 as the book moves quickly from world to world to tell its tale. Unfortunately for Nataliya she finds herself captured by the Tarot. She tries to BS the group by saying she was out in the world doing their bidding but they aren’t buying it. Nataliya’s sentenced to trial by combat…TO THE DEATH. She is chosen to fight the Queen of Swords who….is a badass killer with some very sharp blades. Nataliya figures she’s screwed. She is pretty much correct.

I find this story pretty damn interesting though I wish I had some better comprehension of the core players. I really like Nataliya and if she turns out to become an anti-hero I’d be all for that. I mean…if she’s not butchered to death first. I think the fact that I’m having a ton of fun with this book without the backstory is a testament to the writing. Joe Brusha is writing this book so there’s no doubt he knows these characters inside and out. I found Brusha’s writing here to have quite a bit of depth.

Renato Rei’s artwork should speak for itself. It’s not just the ability to draw beautiful women. Every character looks amazing, every background stunning. Zenescope really knows how to pick their artists but they broke the bank when hiring Rei.  This book in a word?  Gorgeous.

Tarot #2 was everything I wanted from the book and more. One hell of an incredible read. I am really loving what Zenescope is doing wth their line and Tarot #2 is the definition of a great time.

RANK: A

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