Before Shang was the mentor to the Guardian of the Nexus, bear witness as his past is finally revealed!
The war for the Imperial throne is coming to an end. Shang, the last of his dynasty, seemed nearly invincible until a new general was chosen to lead the Imperial army. As these two strong forces race towards their inevitable clash, sinister forces plot to defeat them both.
What an explosive first issue! Zenescope delivers something great in the debut issue of the highly anticipated Shang solo series, retelling a classic story with a fantastic and action-packed twist that will have fans eagerly awaiting the second issue.
Now the mentor to the Guardian of the Nexus as seen often in the flagship Grimm Fairy Tales, we travel back in time to see not necessarily the origins of Shang, but a time when he represents the last of his dynasty. With an epic war at hand, the series brings in a rather well-known character now making their Zenescope entry, Hua Mulan! Following the theme of retelling classic fantasy and folklore characters as seen in series like Belle and others, Shang brings in Mulan in a fresh and modern way that is just downright exciting.
Those expecting cheesecake poses will find only violence and dynasty drama in Shang #1. It’s a mature look at this new story with plenty of blood and betrayal, setting up a miniseries that is sure to impress even new Zenescope readers. Shang is a character that has a LOT of history in the Grimm Fairy Tales series and as a fan, it’s great to see him finally break out into his own character. What I didn’t realize, was he would be used to bring in Hua Mulan into the connected universe. Bringing the two together by the issue’s end is actually remarkably clever and doesn’t detract from importance of Shang’s involvement.
The artwork is consistently great throughout the entire issue. From the drama brewing in the early pages with dialogue-filled conflict to the battle that rages on, the visuals keep the pacing intense with concise layouts and vivid expressions. Carlos M. Mangual’s letters are particularly successful as we enter the fray of war, guiding readers the the chaos with ease.
To see Shang team up with Mulan is something I honestly never saw coming and it has me very excited for what’s to come. With a focus on telling a wonderful story with interesting twists, this series seems poised to be among the best this year from the publisher. It’s certainly a step in the right direction and hopefully it can continue at this quality. With only two more issues remaining that seems quite likely, so we are in for a treat!
Zenescope delivers something great in the debut issue of the highly anticipated Shang solo series, retelling a classic story with a fantastic and action-packed twist that will have fans eagerly awaiting the second issue.
Shang #1: Divine Retribution
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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