Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Dorothy and the Wizard in OZ

Cover
Dorothy is once again plucked from this earth and transported to a magical place populated with the most uncommon persons and where fantastic things happen.

This time Dorothy is accompanied by her pet cat Eureka, a boy she just meet named Zeb and his horse Jim. Soon after the Wizard of OZ himself joins Dorothy. Making a return to the OZ books the kind and wise Wizard will help Dorothy once again find her way home.

This 4th adaptation of L. Frank Baum's work brings back some of the original and all time favorite characters from the OZ books. And as a bonus you'll see most protagonists of the previous books again.

How is it?

During a big earthquake Dorothy, Eureka, Zeb and Jim fall down an enormous crack in the ground and end up in the land of the Mangaboos. This is a magic land where you can walk on air, animals talk and people are vegetables. Soon after the Wizard (of OZ) comes down in his balloon and joins them in their search for the way back home.

Together they'll face the racism of the Mangaboos, the rage of the invisible bears, hords of Gurgles, the mazes of the Dragon lair and their own insecurities.

The Wizard adds and element of wisdom and aptitude uncommon to Dorothy's previous travel companions. Its a fresh take on the group dynamics that works very well. However there is one downside. There is more action in this story than usual in the OZ books and with it comes a touch of violence that hasn't been seen yet in the land of OZ. Nothing too brutal to an adult, but to a child this might be a bit strong.

Dorothy wakes Zeb

All characters are distinct and original. At this time you should be familiar with Dorothy and the Wizard. Eureka is a selfish cat. She only thinks on herself and hardly ever lends a hand to the group. Jim is truly a work horse. He does everything he's asked and hardly ever complains. He does succumb to some ugly emotions, but that is for you to unveil. Lastly Zeb is just a good guy. He helps out wherever he can and is always ready to play around.

Eric Shanower has been doing a stupendous job adapting the original novels to comic book format. In Dorothy and the Wizard in OZ he continues that fantastic job. The narration is just the right pace, the dialogues are on point and the story as a whole is a delight to read.

A little bonus in the story is the origin of the Wizard and some backstory of the land of OZ.

Jim beating some Gurgles

Skottie Young also doesn't disappoint and delivers yet another fantastic work. His cartoonish style is a perfect fit to this book and adds a unique dimension to the original story. In this story Skottie had a chance to draw many different races and animals. He did an excellent job perhaps with the except of the Dama fruit eating people that are invisible and thus there was nothing to draw.

Skottie made sure everyone was distinguishable and unique. The Mangaboos are very similar to the people of OZ but with vague and emotion deprived expressions. The Gurgles are wooden imp like flying creatures. These are my favorite. Their visual uniqueness is a joy to behold, and made better by the randomness of their existence. The braided man is very hilarious, and the dragonettes seem like adorable pets that can devour you in one bit.

Dragonettes


Verdict?

This is a great book of a fantastic all-ages series. You should get this for yourself, as a gift or to your kids (but beware of the violence). Its a truly fantastic adaptation of L.Frank Baum's great OZ books and with Skottie Young's stellar art. There is little doubt that the OZ books should be on every comic book reader's shelves. Highly recommended.

If you never heard of the Marvel OZ books, take a look at my review of the first (and most commonly known) one here.


Publisher: Marvel Comics
Year: 2012
Pages: 184
Authors: Skottie Young, Eric Shanower
ISBN0785155546

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4 comments:

  1. Boa crítica! Não li o livro ainda, mas já o folheei! É claro, no folhear fica impressa na nossa vista o excelente trabalho gráfico de Skottie Young, e só isso já nos dá vontade de comprar!
    :D

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    1. Viva Nuno,

      Obrigado :)

      É impossivel ficar indiferente à arte do Sr Young.

      Abraço.

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  2. Oh, I'm behind on these! I want to read the originals first so I've only read the first two and highly adored them! I own all the baum books, I should get myself together and read them as shanower's come out while I still only have a little catch up to do.

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    1. Hi Nicola,

      When I first started reading these adaptation I only knew Baum's first book. Regardless of that these are great books. And this one is my second favorite (its really hard to top the first one).

      Shanower's adaptation are truly a work of love. Get up to day and review them :)

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