Saturday, February 23, 2013

Comic Review: Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz (Marvel Comics)

Marvel went a fourth round with the original Oz books. Based on the L. Frank Baum book of the same name, Eric Shanower returns to adapt it, and Skottie Young comes back to do the enchanting artwork.

Dorothy is still in California on her trip with her Uncle along with her kitten Eureka(no mention of where she came from since Ozma Of Oz, and visiting her cousin Zeb. While Zeb's horse Jim pulls them back to Zeb's place, an earthquake occurs, and our heroes fall threw a giant crack in the Earth. Floating softly to the inner world of the Mangaboos, Dorothy is reunited with The Wizard who shows up in his old balloon. After messing with the Mangaboos' monarchy musical chairs game, they enter the Valley of Voe to meet invisible citizens and ghastly gargoyles. One of the more interesting anomalies they run into is a nest of young dragons waiting for their mother to return. Eventually, Ozma uses the Magic Belt to wish all of them to Oz, and makes The Wizard her official Court Wizard, meaning she allows him to use magic. After a very silly trial were Eureka is accused of eating one of the Wizard's piglets he uses in his magic act, Dorothy and Co. are sent back to America.

Like the previous three Marvel adaptations, this was pretty close to the original source material. They seemed to not go into the detail that the novel did in regards to some of the Wizard's origins, plus how he spirited Ozma as a baby away to the care of Mombi. The extended cast of Oz gets some good scenes in this too, like the Sawhorse having a race with Zeb, and the Wogglebug in his court wig is especially funny. Even the brief cameo of the Gump's head is welcome.

After this, Marvel seemed to discontinue it's standard 8-issue run as their version of The Road To Oz is a 6-issue mini-series. This might be due to to the fact that the story has less content than the other books, or it might be a change in their format. Anyway, you'll be more than satisfied with this romp with The Wizard!

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