Friday, September 13, 2013


So, I have five comics to go over this time, but they're from three series.

Best first: The Emerald City of Oz #3 from Marvel Comics. The highly condensed 5 issue adaptation continues with Guph's visit to the Phanfasms and Dorothy's visits to Fuddlecumjig, Utensia and Bunbury. (The Zebra and Crab have been dropped.) I begin to wonder how the remaining thirteen chapters will fit into the final two issues. I suspect the final pages of #4 or the first pages of #5 will have Dorothy visiting the Tin Woodman and discovering the bad news about the Nome King. Skottie continues his whimsical comical style and Eric stays faithful to Baum's text.

 Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Oz #1 & 2 from Zenescope Entertainment. So, I wound up getting the first two issues of this series that features many cover variants for each issue. Each with overly-sexualized versions of the Witches and Dorothy. My selection was based on what was available.

This series is part of Zenescope's "Grimm Fairy Tales" line which has already presented similarly reimagined
versions of fairy tales and Wonderland. This line reinvents the Wizard of Oz story, but it doesn't seem to really be based on Baum's books. A map at the end of issue 1 shows "the Northern Territories of Oz," featuring five regions: the northern Kingdom of Zine, featuring the Emerald Mountains and the Emerald City, the central "Conquered Zone," the eastern Land of Ak (I doub, the western Skarab featuring the Haunted Forest, and the southern land of Bogg (Munchkin Land), featuring the Yellow Brick Road. Oz seems to be surrounded by the Infinite Sea.

A young woman named Dorothy lives in Kansas with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, and she soon adopts a large wolf-like dog she names Toto. However, a woman comes to claim Toto, but when he growls at her, Uncle Henry decides not to surrender the dog to her. It becomes quite clear that she's a witch. So, soon a tornado sends the house (Dorothy and Toto included) to Oz. After arriving, Dorothy is attacked by the Witch of the East, who Dorothy—with the sudden help of a strange tool—is able to vanquish. Stranded in Oz, Glinda, "a Good Witch of the North," advises Dorothy to see a mage who might be able to open up a portal between worlds.

The reinvented plot is admittedly rather tired even in issue 2 of 6 (thank goodness it's a limited series) for someone who's seen a lot of reinvented versions of Oz. But I guess I'll stick through to see how it plays out. A lot of Oz fans view Oz as an innocent environment and the menacing and sexualized look probably won't appeal to many of them. (The sexualizing certainly doesn't appeal to the large number of gay men in that demographic.) But seeing that Zenescope has been running awhile, I suppose they have their audience. I'd guess most of who are reading are reading to see the reinvention of the story.

 The Steam Engines of Oz, Free Comic Book Day issue (#0) and #1 by Arcana Entertainment. Surprisingly, this series kicked off its story with a Free Comic Book Day issue, which they also make available for a free download (this is a direct link to a large PDF, click wisely). Although I couldn't go to FCBD (and I doubt they'd have Arcana's offering), I was able to purchase a copy from my usual online comic seller.

An original pick-up from the original Wizard of Oz, we meet Victoria, an Emerald City engineer for the now Steam Punk-ized Oz ruled by the metal hand of the Tin Man who is doing quite the wrong things mistakenly believing that he's doing the right thing. Winged Monkeys take Victoria to meet a mysterious mystic woman who tells Victoria to make the Tin Man stop his spread of machinery over Oz. Victoria heads out to do so, making quite a bit of headway in issue #1. Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing how this version continues.

Now where's the next issue of The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West?

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