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July 4, 2010

Zenescope Reviews: Neverland #0-3 (The Story Thus Far….)

Greetings, Comic Attackers!  Unbeknownst to some of you, perhaps many of you, Zenescope Entertainment is in the middle of running a hot little series called Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Neverland!  It is a twisted and dark little tale of Pan, Tink, Wendy, and Hook.  The tale is told to us by Joe Brusha (writer) and Jean-Paul DeShong (artist).  You don’t think you need to be spending your hard-earned on this series?  You think you know these characters?  You think you know this story?  Think again.  It’s not Disney and it’s not peanut butter.

Beware.  Spoilers are ahead.  I can’t coax you into this realm of madness without telling you how awesome it is.

This…is the story thus far….

Neverland #0
Cover: Eric Basaldua
Variant Cover: Norberto
Price: US $1.99
Release Date: January 27, 2010

New York.

We get to look in on two families.  The first family we get to meet is the Peters family.  Mr. and Mrs. Peters are at the police station.  Their son, Billy, is missing.  They haven’t seen him since they put him to bed at 7:30 on the previous night.  The police check out the Peters’ residence.  There are no signs of forced entry.  The parents say the front door was bolted and chained all throughout the night.  The Peters live on the sixteenth floor of a thirty floor building.  All appears well in Billy’s room.  His bed looks to have been slept in.  The only thing out of place is what one detective says seems to be some sort of pixie dust.

Young John and Michael have lived with their Aunt Wendy since their parents passed away.  The boys are eating breakfast before school.  Michael is thumbing through a photo album.  He sees a picture of a curious young man that Wendy tells them is their great Uncle.  He was one of the survivors of the Titanic.  When their great Uncle was eighteen years old, he disappeared and nobody ever saw him again.  Wendy walks the boys to school, and they are stopped by a hobo with a hook for a hand asking for some change for a phone call.  John doesn’t think twice about giving the man his milk money.  The hobo, Nathan Cross, calls his therapist to tell him he’s not coming in for his session today.

Neverland.

Pan and Tink return to the castle with something in a bag crying out in muffled sounds.  A servant tells Pan he has a visitor.  The servant is instructed to take the bag to the dungeon.  The visitor is none other than Fenton (I HATE this guy.  It’s the same fat creep from Grimm Fairy Tales that does the Darkhorde’s bidding.  This guy drips with evilness.).  Fenton compliments Pan’s kingdom, and tells him the only thing missing is a Queen and she has been found.  He throws before Pan a photograph…of Wendy.  “Finally…and she will be mine,” says Pan.

Neverland #1
Cover: David Finch
Variant Covers: Franchesco! (B) Ryan Stegman (C)
Price: US $2.99
Release Date: March 17, 2010

Five children have gone missing in the last three months and police are baffled.

Nathan Cross is dreaming, having a nightmare.  He is ten years old in a land far away.  He’s running.  No, he’s being chased…by a HUGH JASS crocodile!  Nathan is looking for his brother, Timmy.  Nathan falls.  He wakes up screaming for his brother.  He goes out for the day and picks a pocket, and then finds himself being thrown in jail.  His therapist bails him out.  Nathan tells his therapist that he’s been having the dreams again.  The therapist suggests hypnotherapy to dig into the specifics of the accident from Nathan’s childhood.  Nathan angrily refuses.

Wendy puts her two nephews to bed after reading them a few chapters from The Lord of the Rings.  Wendy is wakened at midnight.  She hears voices coming from behind the boys’ door.  She hears, “It’s a place where ALL your dreams will come true.  Would you like to come?”, to which the boys reply, “Yes.”  Wendy barges in the room in time to see Michael and John being flown out the window by Pan and Tink.  Also, Aunt Wendy is a hottie….

Neverland #2
Cover: Al Rio
Variant Covers: Eric Basaldua (B) Al Rio (C)
Price: US $2.99
Release Date: April 28, 2010

Wendy went to the police and told them what happened.  Naturally, nobody believed her incredible story.  A Doctor Harlow is sent to visit with Wendy.  She tells him what happened and insists that she’s not crazy.  Harlow agrees that Wendy is not necessarily crazy, and tells her about another patient of his that he’s had for the last twenty years.  When his patient was ten years old, he and his brother were kidnapped.  Days later, he was found fast asleep in his own bed, but badly injured.  His younger brother never returned.  Harlow tells Wendy that his patient’s story is just as incredible as hers and takes her to meet him.  Nathan Cross.

Nathan doesn’t believe Wendy’s story.  He thinks Wendy is there to trick him into going under hypnosis.  He’s not going to help this woman.  Wendy storms out of the room.  As she leaves, she says she’s going to find that creep and his flying girlfriend with or without Nathan’s help.  The mention of the winged woman triggers something with Nathan.  Still, he refuses to help.  He can’t bear to go back to those memories.

In Neverland, Michael and John are in Pan’s dungeon.  In the cell next to the brothers is a boy named Billy.  The same Billy that went missing in issue #0.  Pan’s servant comes and takes Billy away kicking and screaming.  Pan feeds on the mortal boy’s energy and tells his servant to get rid of the carcass.  Tink comes in, and Pan and her discuss going back for Wendy.  Tink (or Belle, as Pan calls her) goes into a jealous rage.  She’s not going to help him find a lover to take her place.  She will help him claim more mortal children, but not the woman.  Later, Pan tells his servant to dispose of Tink.  The servant brings up that Tink is Pan’s only way of getting into the mortal realm.  Pan has another idea of how to get there.  The servant is told to summon an old friend of Pan’s.  The Princess.

Back in New York, Nathan finally agrees to help Wendy and go under hypnosis.  As Doctor Harlow counts down from ten to one, something isn’t right.  The three  find themselves taken to another world.  Dressed as a wench, Wendy asks, “Where in the Hell are we?”, to which the valiant-looking pirate with an elaborate hook for a hand, Nathan, replies, “Neverland.”

Neverland #3
Cover: Steven Cummings
Variant Covers: Al Rio (B) Mike DeBalfo (C: Wizard World Philly Exclusive)
Price: US $2.99
Release Date: June 16, 2010

Nathan, Wendy, and Doctor Harlow are wandering Neverland.  Nathan knows he’s been there, but he can’t quite remember any specifics.  The three of them are heading off in the direction where Nathan thinks the children are being held captive.  Their travel is soon brought to a halt as they face down a tribe of Indians.  These Indians think the strangers have their Princess, and they are prepared to fight to get her back.  Naturally, talking doesn’t work.  They fight.  Nathan and the young warriors’ leader get tangled up in battle.  Both men lose their footing and fall off a cliff into the waters below.

Pan visits Michael and Jonathan in their holding cell.  Pan says he brought the boys to Neverland so he can eat them up.  He tells the brothers they haven’t even begun to know what fear is like yet.  The oldest boy, Michael, gets tough.  Pan comments that they take after their Aunt Wendy.  Yes, Pan explains, their Aunt Wendy and he have a history together that their Aunt Wendy is only ready to learn about.  Pan is not done being a dick, though.  He goes to another section of the dungeon where Princess Tiger Lilly is being held.  Pan wants to know where the secret portals to the mortal world are located and how to open them.  Tiger Lilly fires back that all of the portals were destroyed long ago, and the only ones that can travel to the mortal world are the fairies.  Why would Pan need her to tell him where the portals were and how to work them if he already has a fairy?  The last of the fairies, since Pan decided to slaughter the rest of them.  Pan deduces that the Chief hasn’t told his daughter about the portals and the artifacts which hold the same portal power as the fairies.  He sends out for the Indian Chief.

Pan sends a group of servants out into the wilderness, a band of his greatest warriors.  Armed to the teeth, these young men find the Indian tribe.  Of course, the Chief greets these men with demands for his daughter’s return.  Not until Pan gets what he wants, they reply.  The Indians inform Pan’s men that they have already slain their greatest warrior and captured two others, moving away to reveal Wendy and Harlow, thinking they are in cahoots with Pan, and they will also perish if Tiger Lilly isn’t returned by nightfall.

Down in the water, Nathan Cross swims to safety inside of a cove.  Dead Man’s Cove.  Nathan pulls himself up on the rocks and notices his opponent lying nearby, half eaten.  From out of the waters come vicious looking mermaids, surrounding Nathan on all sides.

Whoa, momma!  If you are not on board with this series, you certainly should be!  Joe Brusha is writing this dark imagining in top-notch form, and Jean-Paul DeShong is bleeding out, quite possibly, the best interior art I have ever seen in a Zenescope book.  If you’re not already, take up your daggers and bows and get ready, because from here on out it is going to be a white-knuckled thrill ride to the end.  We’re only halfway there, so don’t end up being one of those who kick themselves and say, “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”  Also, Aunt Wendy is a hottie….

Aron White
aron@comicattack.net

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5 Comments


  1. Billy

    Awesome work Aron!



  2. I had heard they were taking Pan to a “dark” place with this series and that it was doing well. I might actually grab this in trade when it’s all said and done.



  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: RT @aron_w: .@Zenescope's NEVERLAND. The story thus far… http://comicattack.net/2010/07/zrn03tstf/ @ComicAttack has ya covered! @Raven … […]


  4. Aron

    Thanks, Billy!

    Yeah, it is definitely different and dark. It’s really good too! Picking up a trade is a good idea.
    I unintentionally was able to contrast it over the weekend. My 5 year-old son picked out the Golden Book of the Disney version at the book store and wanted me to read it when we got home. Having been fresh from reading the Zenescope issues I was able to see just how crazy-dark they actually are!



  5. […] Cross is pulled lower and lower into the water by the three savage mermaids that surrounded him last issue. Nathan flips his hook-hand contraption around to convert it into some sort of spike, and stabs one […]



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