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Reviews - Belle Annual: Depths of Tartarus & Van Helsing: Rites Of Shadows
From Zenescope Entertainment
Two new comics were reviewed this week from Zenescope Entertainment. We’ve got new Belle and Van Helsing stories, and they both seem to be dealing with parent issues!
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Belle Annual: Depths Of Tartarus
Anabelle “Belle” DiMarco has been on a mission to not only save her mother’s damned soul from a fiery afterlife, but also to clear her conscience for the guilt of putting her there. Now, armed with the knowledge she needs, she must breach the hellish land of tortured souls called Tartarus. With not only her mother’s but her own soul on the line, will her skills as a beast hunter be enough to defeat Typhon, who reigns over this realm?
Writer: Dave Franchini, Artwork: Julius Abrera & Rodrigo Xavier, Colors: Juan Manuel Rodriguez, Letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios & Editor: Dave Franchini
Building on the long-running story of Belle trying to free her mother’s soul. We get to the end of this story, and I feel that this frees Belle up for future storylines that are being planned across the Grimm Universe.
Even so, this was a good read that started off relatively slow and built on some of the mythology we know and the world that Belle inhabits. The mythology part was well done, with flashbacks to the battle of the gods and why Tartarus is the way it is. Typhon isn’t your traditional devil - he seems more of a tyrant, and I think we may get more of him in future adventures with Belle.
There is a good combination of the story and the action in this annual, with a resolution to this long-running story and a bittersweet ending.
The reset button has been pressed for Belle, and I wonder what else we will see!
Van Helsing: Rites Of Shadows
As Liesel Van Helsing continues to uncover the secrets within her father’s extensive journals, she finds herself in New Orleans, in search of a mysterious and dangerous being who has been terrorizing families and stealing their souls. Guest starring Mystere, this issue will send Van Helsing down a path of discoveries that will change her life forever.
Story - Dave Franchini, David Wohl & Pat Shand, Writer - Pat Shand, Artwork - Hakan Aydin, Colors - Grostieta, Letters - Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios & Editor - David Wohl
Van Helsing is still clearing up the injustices of her father. These have been recently discovered, and it seems there is more to his notes than meets the eye. Not all of these aspects are what he had created - and that is where she and Mystere come in.
Something has awakened from its slumber, and this dark being is back on the killing rampage. Van Helsing and Mystere have some plan to get to this creature, and Mystere’s skills are of some help, but more is needed.
What follows is an exciting look at the duo and their relationship - they work well as a team. I think this issue is more about Mystere than Van Helsing, and it shows as the story progresses.
There is some good physical and spiritual activity going on here and an exciting resolution to the story. The art is well done, and there are some clever scenes.
The finish is well done, with some unique aspects with Van Helsing and Mystere, as well as a finish that looks to be building on the next adventure for Mystere.