Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recently published in...

Comics Buyer's Guide #1653, where I review The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1
Marvel Comics
$3.99, color, 32 pgs.
Writer: Eric Shanower
Artist: Skottie Young
Grade: 4 Stars (out of 4)

Issue #1 (of 8) of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz follows the first three chapters of L. Frank Baum’s classic novel by rote, oftentimes using lines from the book verbatim, sometimes replacing narration with dialogue, but always keeping on track. Naturally, certain details are left out (such as Dorothy buttering bread), but most of the plot points are covered, from the twister taking Dorothy’s farm house to Oz to the house landing on The Wicked Witch of the East to Dorothy letting The Scarecrow follow her down the Yellow Brick Road.

The issue’s faithful adherence to the novel may make some wonder why it is necessary in the first place, other than to showcase Skottie Young’s rag doll, storybook-style renderings, which are indeed lovely. No artist can fully evoke the utter grayness of the Kansas prairies or the colorful wonderment of Oz described by Baum’s pitch-perfect prose, but Young (along with colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu) gives it his best shot.

This entire series will cost $31.92, meaning the inevitable trade paperback will probably be a better value.

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