Oz #1 was the biggest selling comic book in Zenescope publishing history. This title even beat the Skottie Young-drawn The Emerald City of Oz in sales. Does Zenescope have a winner of a title, did the property sell itself, and more importantly: is it good?
Oz #2 (Zenescope Entertainment)
Having read read the first issue I must say things are starting to roll with #2. The first issue introduced Dorothy, a wolf that appears to be playing Toto and a bit of a retelling of how Dorothy arrived in Oz. The Wicked Witch of the East sent her there by tornado only because she wouldn’t hand over the wolf, who just so happens to have been delivering a scepter to Dorothy from an unknown source. This issue picks up where the last left off, with Dorothy about to get a witchly beating.
I have to commend Joe Brusha for adapting the original tale into an epic, Lord of the Rings-type tale for an older audience. The most enjoyable aspect of this series is seeing how he changes things up. For instance, finding out Toto was a giant wolf last issue was a neat change, so I was highly anticipating this issue and how he’d weave in his original elements into the story we all know and love. This issue has a lot of exposition, but that’s okay, largely because it’s neat to see how this world is different from the original.
Was that by accident or did he want to see her bloobs?
I’m a stickler for pace and balance when it comes to the art and story, so it’s definitely jarring to see so much exposition here, but it’s necessary in order to set up what we’re getting ourselves into here. Oz has changed; it’s not the same, but it is similar, so the exposition is actually a joy to read. There are two pages in particular that explain what exactly Oz is to Earth, as well as what the bad witches have been up to. You can tell this exposition is going to pay off with the issues to come, because there’s so much drama and potential action awaiting us.
Who is that devil dude?! Cool idea right there.
The art by Rolando Di Sessa is good to serviceable throughout the issue. The layouts are quite nice, and there’s certainly no confusion on the pages. Some of the pages have interesting thatching going on, which helps give the panels more character. My only complaint would be how many establishing shots are used. A large majority of pages and panels are too far away from the characters to see their expressions which limits that aspect of the story. Obviously getting a sense of where the characters are in relation to each other is important, but I was starting to wonder if Di Sessa has a weakness for closeups or something. It gives the book a far away feel which makes the reader less involved.
She seriously thinks this looks good?
- Interesting changes to the classic story
- Epic fantasy story that’s building nicely
- The art feels distant
Since there’s so much exposition and on top of that, so many long shots establishing the location of characters, this issue was like reading a fairy tale at a young age. You’re not part of the action, but privy to the story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make this issue difficult to get into. That said, I’m really digging the changes Brusha is adding to not only grow up the story, but also make it an epic fantasy.
Is It Good?
Yes. If you dig Wicked you’ll love another retelling of this classic story. Plus, there’s more violence and nudity!