Monday, April 28, 2014

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz by Joe Brusha, Rolando Di Sessa, and Glauber Matos

When Zenoscope released the first issue of their flagship series, Grimm Fairy Tales, most people likely didn’t imagine it would become the starting point for an entire franchise, but the success the series found has led to a host of spin-offs as the core series nears its 100th issue.  Among many are Return to Wonderland, which has proved the series’ most successful branch, spawning a host of titles itself, as well as Inferno, Robyn Hood, Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends, and a whole stack more.

One of their more recent offerings is Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz, a retelling of the story from the novel by L. Frank Baum, but taken in a direction very much fitting with the Grimm Fairy Tales line.  Dorothy lives on a farm with her aunt and uncle, and when a twister comes through a takes the house, Dorothy is transported to the magical land of Oz.  However, this is an Oz where the Cowardly Lion is a fierce warrior, the Tin Man is a steampunk robot, the Scarecrow is a frightening nightmare version of usual happy-go-lucky portrayals, and Toto is a gigantic wolf.

Far from just being a story of Dorothy’s personal journey, the maneuverings of the Wicked Witch of the West is leading to a cataclysmic final battle at the Emerald City for the fate of Oz, and Dorothy and her companions and deeply entwined in the conflict.  There is also some brief tying in of this story to the over-arching Grimm Fairy Tales storyline, but it is done in such a fashion that readers new to the universe won’t feel lost, or that they need to read a large number of books to get caught up.

Rolando Di Sessa and Glauber Matos capture the essence of Zenescope’s art direction with the overall universe, creating vibrant, dynamic settings populated with characters designed in the vein of some of the early Image Comics arts stylings.  The beasts are monsterous and deadly-looking, the men have muscles piled on top of muscles, and the women seem to find some of the most imaginative ways to unintentionally reveal their staggering assets.

Writer Joe Brusha creates a story that really kicks into gear as it progresses, and is a lot of fun.  Particularly surprising, given the scantily-clad nature of the protagonist, is that Brusha features a Dorothy who is strong and powerful in her own right, rather than constantly having to be saved by the others.  The ensemble cast is slowly developed, and by the end of the story the reader wants to continue on another journey with Dorothy and company.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Oz doesn’t have any nudity, but it comes as close to it without crossing that border as is possible, so this book is likely best for the teen and older crowd, but for readers looking for a fun, fast paced adventure featuring a charming hero, devious plots, and a battle full of deceit and deception, then this is a book very much worth checking out.

No comments:

Post a Comment