cover image Wika


Thomas Day and Olivier Ledroit, trans. from the French by Christopher Pope. Titan Comics, $39.99 (232p) ISBN 978-1-78773-592-7

Magic, myth, and machinery meld to give an edgy steampunk skin to this European import fairy tale, which looks fabulous but leans heavily on archetypes. The fantasy opens on the bloodthirsty Prince Oberon and his ogreish followers murdering Duke Claymore Grimm and Duchess Titania Grimm. Wika, their daughter, is smuggled away and wounds she’s received are treated with a protective magic ink that blossoms into tattoos across her skin. Thirteen years later, Wika reemerges in the kingdom of Pan, which is being brutally conquered by now King Oberon, and in three more years a powerful magic erupts from her to threaten his rule. Wika resolves to become a Grand Fairy, lead the charge against Oberon and his army, and restore peace to the kingdom. Ledroit’s lush, Klimt-like artwork boasts a meticulousness that borders on dizzying, rewarding readers who linger. Unfortunately, that same attention to detail does not extend to French novelist Day’s script, which relies heavily on convenience to advance the plot and stale fantasy archetypes, with montages too often filling in for character development and relationship building. Though gorgeous to page through, the volume offers more style than storytelling substance. [em](Mar.) [/em]