Review – Legends: The Enchanted


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Legends The EnchantedI went in trying not to compare Nick Percival’s Legends: The Enchanted to that other series involving folklore characters.  Other than involving some of the main characters, the comparison ends there.  Legends: The Enchanted is a very dark story, both in content and story.

You think you know them? Think again!

Violently ripped from the pages of folklore come the Enchanted. Supernatural immortals living in a dark, steampunk, creature-infested world where nature, technology and foul magic are in constant conflict. When the twisted, burnt remains of the half-wooden, half-mechanical warrior, Pinocchio are discovered, wolf hunter Red Hood and giant killer Jack realize the fragile rules of their existence have been shattered. With the help of other powerful Enchanted (the mercenary, Goldilocks and psychic exterminators, Hansel and Gretel), Jack and Red team up on an adventure to stop whatever, or whoever is destroying their powers and murdering their kind.

The world is a mix of fantasy and technology reminiscent of so many steam punk dystopian futures we’ve seen before.  The art is very dark with a sickly green pallor that seems to make it’s way into everything.  At times it’s hard to make out exactly what’s going on.  The story also is choppy with various plot lines left open and unresolved.  The ending is abrupt, and I left without feeling much resolution when it came to the story.

While the story is interesting and the spin worth checking out, I just can’t recommend it.  There’s reports that this graphic novel will be making it’s way to the big screen and I’d wait for that.  For the $19.95, there’s just so much more that’s far better out there.

Plot: The good is the characters are very entertaining.  I liked this take on the folklore characters and the mix of magic and technology.  The plot of having their powers taken away from them and their kind being hunted and killed was also entertaining.  The problem was there’s so many characters and at times jumps all over in plot, it’s hard to make out what’s going on.  The art also doesn’t help in this department.  I also don’t think plot lines were resolved, especially ones involving the Hag and Squire.  I’m sure there’ll be a follow up, but for a graphic novel, I want some resolution.  The writer seems to have attempted an opened ending like Terminator 2, but it comes off as abrupt.  Rating: 6.5

Art: The art is dark.  I don’t know if it’s the screen I was reading it on, but at times it was very hard to see and make out what was going on, and to see numerous details in the art.  There’s also a sickly green pallor that pervades the comic book.  I actually have to give props for keeping it consistent when it comes to the art, but there seems to be an expense at seeing what the hell is going on.  The lettering at times also was difficult to read.  The standard black or white is replaced with red or green, which both didn’t pop enough from the background color to make reading the dialogue easy or enjoyable.  Rating: 6.75

Overall: I went into reading this graphic novel wanting to like it.  I quickly glanced at the art, and thought it looked cool, but once I got under the hood, boy was I disappointed.  The art was dark and muddied and story, choppy and unfinished.  There’s a lot out there on the market, that’s more deserving of your money, but if you really want to see this take on characters like the Fairy Godmother, Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk, you can do a lot worse.  Overall Rating: 6.5

Recommendation: Pass

Page count: 120 pages    Price: $19.95     Release: 7/27/2010

Radical Publishing provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

3 comments

  • You were reading this on a screen…???? How is that the best way to look at a hardback graphic novel????

  • Or as a recent review says:

    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. Grade A

  • Couldn’t agree less with this review. Have read the book, have bought copies for discriminating friends (artists, writers, etc) no less. Sure I am vested in it, but for a good reason alone: It was damn excellent.

    And, as I posted on another review of LEGENDS: “The overlooked angle here, and which NP or Radical seem to gloss, and which is obvious in our historical-cultural context, is that the classics receive a fresh start, in that they are being challenged (killed) and in a real sense marginalized. Compare our classic tales of years past to this simple theme prevalent today which marginalizes them to lower-tiered reading matter for children only (as they were remade over and over, but flying in the face of factual matter if primary texts (Grimm’s for example) are read). This in itself–revving the classics in a grand manner and with all of the darkness and then some derived from those earliest of tales–was well worth the investment from my end and made me an instant fan.”