Grimm Volume 1: The Coins of Zakynthos

Plot by: Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt

Script by: Marc Gaffen & Kyle McVey

Art by: José Malaga

Colours by: Thiago Dal Bello

Letters by: Marshall Dillon

Collection Design by: Joh Johnson

Based on the NBC Television series “Grimm”

Release Year: 2013

Photo Cover of the Grimm: The Coins of Zakynthos TPB

Intro:

There are tons of variations on the classic Grimm Fairytales out in the world, be it Disney’s child-friendly iterations, or the much darker iterations you see within films such as the 2005 film “Brothers Grimm” (starring Heath Ledger, Matt Damon, and Lena Headey), there’s no end to people putting their own twists on these classic fairytales that in original printing are pretty horrifying on their own, as they served a purpose of being cautionary tales. Truth be told, I love them all, or at least the ones I’ve watched or read.

So in 2011 when I heard there was going to be a new television series based around the Grimm Fairytales, set in a modern world with a detective genre attached, I was eager to see this new take on the themes attached to the stories, as well as the monsters that hide within. I was not disappointed. Grimm quickly became one of my favorite television shows and I couldn’t wait each week to watch the newest episodes.

Lasting 6 seasons from 2011-2017 the show followed Detective Nick Burkhardt, who discovers a family secret about himself, that changes his whole world, because all of a sudden he was seeing monsters, his aunty appears out of nowhere, and someone is out to kill her. He discovers he is a Grimm, someone who can see the monster within a person, and not metaphorically. The monsters known as Wesen (pronounced Vessen) are real monsters disguised in human form, and only a Grimm can see their true form when they don’t want anyone to.

Of course, when I heard there was a comic, I had to get it, and now here I am reviewing it for you!

Promotional image for Grimm on the NBC network

Plot:

Nick, Hank, and Monroe are on a mission to rescue Kelly, Nick’s mother, after she vanished whilst on a mission to destroy the Coins of Zakynthos, first seen in Grimm’s 13th episode of Season One. The coins hold a secret power, so whoever possesses them, suddenly becomes overly charismatic to the point where they can influence others to follow them, do their bidding, etc.

Many powerful figures have used these coins over the centuries, from Alexander the Great to Adolf Hitler, all humans and Wesen alike fall under their power if they come into contact with the coins, the only people immune to their effects, are Grimms.

Nick’s journey will take him and his allies to various locations across Europe, meeting new characters and a horde of Wesen enemies, but more importantly, he meets another Grimm, a young attractive blonde-haired woman by the name of Maya. Together, they need to rescue Kelly, find the coins, take them back to the Greek island of Zakynthos and destroy them.

Sounds easy enough, but when has anything in the life of a Grimm been easy?

Kelly Kessler (Nick’s mother) doesn’t make it easy for her enemies

Story:

After seeing the season one episode that introduced us to the Coins of Zakynthos, as well as hearing them referenced in Season Three episode twelve, in which it’s revealed Kelly never made it to Zakynthos and has instead stashed the coins somewhere, viewers were left wondering what the fate of those coins was, and now thanks to this comic series published in 2013 during the series’ third season, Grimm fans now had an answer to that question.

The plot feels very much like Lord of the Rings without the magic and fantasy. Instead of a ring corrupting the hearts and minds of men, we have three identical coins forged in a volcano in Greece, and instead of hobbits traveling by foot across a scenic New Zealand landscape, we have a few Grimms, a human and some Wesen all battling to take and keep control of these powerful trinkets. Though that’s not to say this story is a copy and paste of course, as it has its own world built up within the television series that allows fans to dive deeper into an expanded off-shoot of the canon.

The book is written by a team of brilliant writers who worked on the show itself so it’s no surprise that this tie-in certainly feels more accurate to the source material than some tie-in projects do. But that’s not to say this book is without faults.

Some of the plot points feel very predictable, and even the execution feels a little lackluster in places. Maya feels like a throw-in character with little to no heart, unlike the characters we’re met within the show. She feels more like a Mary Sue who is there to try and add some form of deranged romantic angle to the plot that clearly doesn’t work, and if anything, damages the plot because she feels more like a traitorous damsel, despite trying to be portrayed as a strong independent woman. Even with her intentions revealed, she just feels unnecessary and I honestly believe the whole thing could have unfolded without her in it and it would have made for a better story.

I also feel like some of the narration feels a little too repetitive, with us being constantly reminded of who they are, despite feeling like this would be a book mostly read by fans who already know the details about Nick Burkhardt being a Grimm and what that means.

Nick, Hank, and Monroe doing some detective work among the Wesen

Art:

The art is great in this book, as the artists manage to capture the look and characteristics of the actors that portray these characters in the show. Every character stands out from one another and even the Wesen transformations feel like the show. With great detailed line work on things such as facial hair, whiskers, etc.

Nick, Hank, and Monroe find themselves trapped

Conclusion:

This is a fun comic for those who want to delve deeper into the world of the Grimm universe after watching the show which ended in 2017. However it’s not without its problems, but honestly, I think it’s still a decent read and one I would recommend to someone who is a fan of the show. I feel like some of the plot could be handled a lot better but it doesn’t completely ruin the book overall.

It’s a fun expansion but not one you necessarily have to read. Easily skippable and with pretty much having only a loose connection to the television show, it’s not vital for any fan to have to read this to understand anything that happens in later episodes or seasons.

Below is a gallery of covers for the six single issues collected within this TPB:

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