Publisher: Image Comics
Writer and Artist: Skottie Young
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: Nate Peikos
Following the “Saga method” of releasing comics, Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland took a hiatus for a few months after wrapping up its first story arc. While the last issue left much to be desired, the budding series was off to an excellent start. Young’s wacky art and equally colorful writing made I Hate Fairyland a wholly unique experience, as we followed Gertrude on her murderous rampage through a child’s paradise. Despite the less-than-stellar finale, Gertrude’s new role as queen of Fairyland seemed to be setting up an exciting and different second arc. However, it does not look like Young will be making good on that promise.
To start, the first 5 pages of this book are absolutely thrilling. Not only does it capitalize on the last issue’s cliffhanger, but it does so with humor and stellar art. Sadly, this is quickly thrown away as a cheap gag. It’s very disappointing to see a new and exciting direction for a book only to be told “Don’t worry! Everything is still exactly the same as it was.” This is where I Hate Fairyland begins to feel more like the Saturday morning cartoons that it satirizes, than a serialized adult comic book. There is, however, a lot to love about this book.
Young’s strong characterization of our anti-heroine is as strong as ever. This keeps her struggles with being the new “Evil Queen of Fairyland” at the center of the narrative. This allows the series’ silly sense of humor to keep situations light while also tell a compelling story. That formula leaves the potential for actual character development. However, that goes out the window by the final page, just as it did with the finale of the last arc.
While it may be a bit much to ask of a series that primarily relies on out-of-place gore and humor that ranges from irreverent to gross-out, I Hate Fairyland does have room for better, more linear story telling. You can see that Young certainly has the chops for it. This issue does little to progress the actual plot, but it is still very fun. Gertrude’s antics as Queen lead to plenty of fun gags and great one-liners from the supporting cast. Likewise, the art of this book was an absolute home run. From the gore, to the cartoon characters everything jumps right off the page. It’s enough to keep you engaged on its own. Although marginally disappointing, this issue still leaves the series teeming with potential.