Review – Mystere #5 (Zenescope Entertainment)

  • Writing - 9.2/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
  • Overall - 9.2/10
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Mystere #5

Writer: Ben Meares
Penciler: Eman Casallos
Colorist: Ceci de la Cruz
Letterer: Carlos M. Manguel
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: January 8th, 2020

Mary calls on her Mystere persona once again and faces The Blacksmith, Abigail, and Beatrice. She is forced to take desperate measures with the potential to backfire on her.

Redemption Awaits in Mystere #5

In the medium of comics, when creating or focusing on a new character, it can be hard not to become lost in the fantastic. It is, after all, a medium that makes possible the impossible. Characters have fantastic powers, traverse fantastic settings, and face terrifying villains. It is, thus, all too common that creative teams focus on the concept and not the character. As comic books have proven over and over again, the most successful characters thrive because they incorporate both. The characters at Zenescope and Grimm Fairy Tales all too often have this problem. After all, it delves into the land of fairy tales, itself nearly limitless in possibilities, and the characterizations often take a back seat. With that said, the fact that Zenescope is still a relatively new company allows it some freedom. Characters are not as tied to their canon. Writers can take risks that might not pass at the bigger companies. This has, thus far, been true of the company’s biggest successes, but it remained to be seen whether that could be true here as well. Mystere is still a new character with little development of her past; this series is the first to feature her. Mystere #5 wraps up the miniseries and starts with the question of whether this series was going to be the start of something new, or something forgettable. 


Mystere #5 (Zenescope Entertainment) cover A by Geebo Vigonte
Mystere #5 (Zenescope Entertainment) cover A by Geebo Vigonte

Ben Meares has the writing duties in Mystere #5. Really, he deserves full credit for his presentation of the story. Although it involves the underworld and zombies, he never really takes the easy way out. Instead, he puts the focus on who Mystere is as a character. Even while the action sequences and plot developments seem a bit uninspired, the story can fall back on that. The series ends with the character seemingly poised for more stories in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe. At the very least, that makes this series and this issue a success. 


The art team is made up of Eman Casallos on pencils and Ceci de la Cruz on colors. They present the art in a drab manner, though that’s necessary to convey the topic and setting at hand. This setting doesn’t really give the art team much to do, though the art is as effective as it needs to be. 


Though not without some faults, Mystere #5 ends with as much momentum as one could hope for from this series. The plot developments in this issue were a bit formulaic at times, though there were some surprises. Where this issue succeeds, though, is the presentation of the main hero and the main villain as something more than empty shells to tell the story. This series ends up being decided by the strength of the characters, and in doing so, it succeeds. There are times when it looks otherwise in this series. But any reader that saw it through to the end should be happy for Mystere to pop up again in the Grimm Fairy Tales universe. 

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Edward Wendt

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