Sunday, March 3, 2013

Comic Review: The Legend Of Oz-The Wicked West (mini-series)

Big Dog Ink started their ongoing The Legend Of Oz-The Wicked West comic first as a 6-issue mini-series. Writer Tom Hutchison took the idea of the original WOZ book, along with some influence from the 1939 movie, and put them together to a new Weird West version of the classic story.

Here, Dorothy is sent to Oz by a twister along with her horse Toto, and the Munchkins tell her to "follow the Yellow Brick Road" to find the Wizard to send her back home. Unfortunately, Dorothy ends up trotting along the desert for the next three years looking for the darned road, partially because people keep stealing the yellow bricks which are actually made of gold. However, when she came to Oz, she took the Wicked West of the East's ruby spears and guns, that come in real handy when she mozies on in to a small town that is inhabited by winged apes that can disguise themselves as human. Dorothy slaps leather with them, and frees a lion that they had imprisoned in their saloon. The local lawman, who here is the Tin Man(original idea?), follows her along with the Scarecrow, a mute "native" girl who appears to be some kind of straw golem. The Lion helps fend them off some fearsome Kalidahs, and they all eventually find their way to the Yellow Brick Road, all while the more lone gunman version of the Wicked Witch of the West dogs them to get her sister's swag. The road leads to a lone farmhouse where they run across Scraps the Patchwork Girl and her "father", Dr. Pipt. His house leads into the Emerald City, which is a huge underground mining community where they dig for emeralds. The Wizard is a large head that tells them to waste the remaining Wicked Witch, and then he'll send Dorothy home. Dorothy and the others travel to the Witch's castle, and Dorothy is carried away by her monkey militia. Dorothy and the Witch are sent to some dream version of the Gale farm in Kansas, where Dorothy deluges the Witch by shooting down the water tower on her, then somehow appears back in the Witch's castle and her followers declare her to be the new Witch of the West.

This is shaping into being a fantastically new take on Oz, with Old West merging with a fantasy adventure, similar to Wild Arms. The regular ongoing series continues with most of the other characters like Tin Man and Scarecrow, with new takes on Pip, Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, and Jinjur. Writer Tom Hutchison does a great job adapting the original stories into a fresh new western, and artist Alisson Borges seriously brings her A-game with the dynamic character designs and backgrounds. There's also a 2-issue mini-series spinoff telling of the Scarecrow. Each comic of this series has multiple variant covers, but only worth collecting for the collector's sake. The trade paperback graphic novel collecting the entire first mini-series is now out, with the other volumes to collect the ongoing series.

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