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!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Oz Mythbusters: It's Not Easy Being Green

One of the more popular misconceptions as far as the original Oz books were concerned was that the Wicked Witch Of The West was green. It was only in the original 1939 Wizard Of Oz movie that we first see her as having green skin. However there, the Witch's Winkie guards were also green. This would mean that by the movie's standards, everyone from the Winkie Country would have green skin, just as the regulars of Munchkin Country would all be short.

However, in Gregory Maguire's Wicked book series, as well as the Wicked stage musical, it is revealed that the Witch(Elphaba)is the only girl in Oz born with green skin, aside from the possibility of some of the elves briefly mentioned. This is mainly attributed to her true heritage, which also possibly includes her mother's ingestion of a magic elixir by the illustrious Wizard of Oz. Years later, Elphaba's granddaughter Rain was also born with green skin, as well as her family's talent for magic.