One of the joys of reading the horror of Stephen King or Joe Hill is their ability to take something scary in the ordinary world and add the supernatural. The strength is in the relatable and very realistic world. It was already scary to begin with; the supernatural elements are only there to make it fantastical enough to be new and interesting. I got the same vibe from reading Wonderland #11 and, if you continue reading, you’ll learn the answer to the question, is it good?
Wonderland #11 (Zenescope Entertainment)
An army is being built in Wonderland as humans are being turned into demonic versions of the card soldiers we’re all familiar with from Alice in Wonderland. Great power is afoot, but this issue spends most of its time in the real world with a very real horror, namely a man who kidnaps and kills women. This issue also delves into some important backstory that’s important in future issues, but its the kidnapper that takes up the brunt of the story.
So this looks painful…
The majority of this issue takes place on the road which, if you really think about it, is part of the great American folklore. Our ability to drive from coast to coast and the freedom it imbues is part of what makes America so unique. Of course it’s not all roses. When was the last time you heard someone say hitchhiking was a good idea? It used to be safe to hitchhike, but an evil underbelly has reared its head making it a scary thing to even conceive. This issue helps support that that fear by creating a very real average Joe who just so happens to have a trunk full of dead women.
Magic car powers!
Of course, a bit of supernatural flair helps any story, and writer Pat Shand adds that in a powerful sequence involving some magic in a car. The scene is very well rendered by Sheldon Goh and is surprisingly reminiscent of a scene in Joe Hill’s latest book, Nos4a2. That book only came out back in April which tells me Shand and Hill are on some kind of similar wavelength. They get the concept of the supernatural, but also the darker place that horror lives in the real world.
The only gripe I had with this issue was how it handled two characters who are hitchhiking. They only take up about two pages in the book, but I wasn’t sure what their deal was or why they were important. I’m sure they’re making an appearance for a reason but I was a tad perplexed by their contribution.
- Action packed story
- Real world horror at work
- Strong art
- Not sure what those two female characters were about
The real strength of this issue is its pacing. It cuts between flashbacks, but also introduces the kidnapper in a very articulate and interesting way. It’s also a self-contained sort of story which helps for anyone new to the series. Because the main thread of this story is self contained, you can enjoy the majority without knowing what happened before, but also be introduced to the obviously complicated web that’s being spun.
Is It Good?
Yes. A great story about the horrors of hitchhiking with a supernatural twist.