Series: Once Upon A Time #3
Published: April 14, 2015
Format: Hardcover (112 pages)
Genres: Graphic Novel
Return to the immersive world of ABC's hit television series ONCE UPON A TIME with an all-new sequel to the original graphic novel, ONCE UPON A TIME: The Shadow of the Queen. Welcome to the Enchanted Forest, where the characters from classic fairy tales have come to life and are locked in an epic struggle between good and evil! Plott ed by series writer and co-executi ve producer, Kalinda Vazquez, and co-written by returning author Corinna Bechko, the release will tie into official show continuity and dive in to four never-before-told stories of fan favorite characters!
Short and Sweet Version
A fun, quick must-read for Once Upon a Time fans. The art is gorgeous. The stories are all new and set in the Enchanted Forrest which I don’t get to see as much of on the TV show as I would like. Loved it!
Jessica Thinks Too Much Version
Mild spoilers ahead! This spoiler warning is for those very sensitive to any spoilers. Major spoilers look like this > View Spoiler »And then everyone dies!!! Why did you click this link if you haven’t read the book?! Just kidding. Anything about the ending will be hidden in links like this. « Hide Spoiler
This is my first graphic novel that I’ve ever reviewed. It might possibly be the first I’ve ever read. So I can say, as a graphic novel novice, that it was really fun to read this. I didn’t finish the first book in the Once Upon a Time book series because it was a novelization of Season 1 and not a very good one at that. It was boring to re-read stories I already knew from the TV show. I’m happy to say that all of these stories are new. They are background stories for five of the characters – Belle, Rumplestiltskin, Captain Hook, The Mad Hatter, and the Evil Queen. All of these stories are set in the Enchanted Forrest. Of all the characters, we didn’t see much about them in the Enchanted Forrest and I loved getting to see more stories about them there. It was a lot of fun.
There are two authors and four artists. Each story has it’s own artistic style and none of the stories have the same style as the cover. I kind of wish they had showcased the different art on the cover instead of having something completely different. It gave me the expectation that it would have highly realistic illustrations inside but instead the art was more stylized or cartoonish. I loved the art, don’t get me wrong, but I think the cover should at least match.
I was also surprised by how thin and tall this book was. It almost felt like a picture book.
The first story is about Captain Hook. It’s about an adventure he has as a pirate and it shows some of his sarcasm and bravery. This story was good. Maybe not amazing, but still good. It reminded me that Captain Hook had a bad boy side to him that he’s lost a little of in the TV show. The art for this story was my least favorite from the book. It’s very sharp and undetailed. I should admit right now that part of my motivation to read this book was to stare at some hot pirate pictures. Sadly, not as much hot pirate as I was hoping for. However, the art matches the adventure plot of this story and works really well. *stares at hot pirate on cover some more*
The story about Belle and Rumple is so fun and romantic. I think it might be my favorite. It showed a stage in their relationship from the Enchanted Forrest that we didn’t get to see much. They aren’t in love but they had moved past the cruel stage at the beginning of their relationship. The art is amazing. It is colorful and beautiful. The watercolors gave it a romantic fantasy style that matched the story. The great plot twist at the end shows off Belle’s cleverness and adds a little romance, too. The artist did a good job being true to the characters and how they look on TV.
The least interesting story has to be the one about the Evil Queen. Not much happens in the plot and the art is very dark and a little boring. The end of this story increases the Evil Queen’s resolve to get revenge on Snow White. Wow, that’s new! (Not.) That story line is already very emphasized in the TV show. If anything, it’s a little too emphasized.
I think the story that went into the most detailed background was for the Mad Hatter. It was his entire backstory and it helped me understand his character in a whole new way. The cartoony look of this story was perfect for the Wonderland setting. Even though it’s the longest story in the book, it kept my attention the whole time. What an emotional, sad story. I like the Mad Hatter even more after reading this.
Content Rating: Mild, for mild language. I think it swears only once or twice.
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