Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The Latest Oz Reading

Well, with spring break in the district I'm currently working in extended a few more weeks, I may as well catch up on not only my reading, but telling you about it.

  • The Road to Oz: The Evolution, Creation, and Legacy of a Motion Picture Masterpiece by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman. This is the duo's latest book about the famous film version of The Wizard of Oz, and like all the others, it is well-researched and full of all kinds of information. Unlike their previous books, this one has not been licensed by Warner Bros., so they were able to tell the story they wanted to tell without any editorial interference by the current owners of The Movie. There was not a lot in here that was new to me, but I've been reading books on this topic for over forty years now. But that doesn't mean I was totally unsurprised. This book contains the first ever published picture of Hickory's wind machine, for example (cut from the final film), and has details about its early release that I had not heard before. Plus the background information leading up to the production of The Movie was terrific, such as Samuel Goldwyn's plans for a movie (before he ended up selling the rights to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), or the fact that there were actually three radio shows in the 1930s (not the two I already knew about). This is always a good topic to revisit every once in a while, and I'm glad Scarfone and Stillman can still wring a lot of new information out of a movie that's now over eighty years old.
  • That was a pretty long book, so I thought I'd temper it with a little one, and A Legend in Straw: The Spirit of My Uncle Ray Bolger by Christianna Rickard fit the bill nicely. This is not a biography of Bolger, although there are some biographical touches. It's much more a remembrance of Bolger by his niece, and what his example taught her, especially when Rickard has to deal with a rare form of cancer. (Spoiler alert: She survives, as I bought this book directly from her at OzCon International two years ago. Of course she was kind enough to sign it for me.) It has a clear, nondenominational spiritual bend to it, so in that it reminded me a lot of The Wisdom of Oz by Gita Dorothy Morena, another memoir by an Oz-related relative (for those who don't know, Morena is L. Frank Baum's great-granddaughter). It's not a crucial book for Oz fans to get, but for those who want to know more about Ray Bolger, this is a good introduction.

My website now has Infrequently Asked Questions

Yes, I am cautiously dipping my toe into the pool of April Fool's Day again, but this year I hope it is not as badly misinterpreted as my Happy Meal toy joke". I decided, as a counterpoint to my website's FAQ, to put up a list of Infrequently asked questions, with not terribly serious answers. I was a little disappointed in the questions I got. I actually had many others, but they were either way too naughty for this little exercise, or I just couldn't think of a silly enough answer. I hope, however, to get more next year, and can expand the list every year. Anyway, here is my initial list of IAQs.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Ozmosis

The legendary Helmet of Ozmosis is discovered, and brought to Ozma for safe keeping. It is said that it can grant the wearer unspeakably unlimited magic power, and used to be the property of an evil sorcerer. Ozma entrusts Dorothy and the boys to take it to the vault in the Castle of Not What It Seems, on the far side of Ix. Of course, the Wicked Witch and an indifferent Wilhelmina are after it. But then the Wizard finds out and follows the witches. Then Frank and Lyman, wondering what's up, follow the Wizard! Dorothy and the gang make it to the castle (in a remarkably short amount of time), and avoid a couple of booby traps to get in. It is not going to be easy to find that vault, however, as there are still many obstacles in the way. The witches and the Wizard then find their way in (with various degrees of avoiding the trap at the front door). Next, Dorothy and company are on the Staircase of No Return, which looks a lot like M. C. Escher's Relativity. The stairs eventually turn into ramps, and they all go sliding into something. The Wicked Witch walks into the next trap, and then Frank and Lyman arrive. They can't read the map, but they do find an elevator. Meanwhile, the witches and the Wizard are finding all kinds of obstacles to dodge, but Dorothy and the rest of the crew finally manage to find their way to the vault. But just as they're about to deposit the helmet, the Wicked Witch grabs it. As she's about to don it, however, the Wizard drops in (literally!) and takes it. Before he can do anything, however, he and the Wicked Witch gets in a tug-of-war over it, and it flies off—landing on Lyman's head just as he and Frank arrive in the elevator! Lyman is transformed into a giant monkey with ultimate power who commands the others to kneel. The Scarecrow says it would take a whole boatload of magic to stop him, which gives Dorothy the idea to use the castle's bobby traps against Lyman! Dorothy taunts him, asd as he chases her away, Scarecrow tells everyone else to split up, and lead Lyman into trouble if they spot him. First up, Lyman chases Dorothy around the Staircase of No Return, but the staircase ramp slides him into Wilhelmina's path. She tells him, "You may be big and powerful, but you still smell like a monkey!" Lyman chases her for a while, but he gets banged up by a bunch of giant suits of armor wielding axes. Lyman chases the Tin Woodman across a giant table, only to then be chased by a giant lobster. He chases the Scarecrow into a hall of mirrors, only to get zapped by his own magic. Finally, battered, bruised, and exhausted, giant Lyman stumbles into the vault room, where the helmet falls off, and Dorothy and the Lion put it in the vault and seal it up. Even the Wicked Witch concedes she doesn't want that much evil power, and everyone heads home.

Wow, this one was all over the place, in a good way! The Helmet of Ozmosis is clearly a macguffin to get everyone to runaround a booby-trapped castle. But it is a surprisingly powerful macguffin that thankfully also turns out to be a Chekov's gun. Yes, someone had to wear it, and thank goodness it was Lyman! I doubt anybody else in that story would have worked, as Lyman would be the one least likely to make good use of it (although I could see a version with Dorothy putting it on and her own kind and generous nature overcoming the helmet's influence). So, to summarize, we have a dark and powerful magic device being used to set up a screwball runaround. But then the helmet gets used, and things get dark, only to result in another screwball runaround! Hey, it works for me. I also liked Wilhelmina being more annoyed by her aunt's latest plan than anything else, and also Dorothy and the boys recognizing her auntie as the bigger threat, as seen by their indifferent reaction when she introduces herself. (Okay, yeah, that's one gag you really need to see the episode to appreciate.)

Oz Comics Roundup

A few items about recent Oz comics:

This Week's Oz Short Story

The final piece from the 2011 edition of Oziana is "Cryptic Conversations in a Cornfield" by Jeffrey Rester, with illustrations by Luciano Vecchio. This, everybody, is probably the definitive (and certainly lengthy) origin story of the Scarecrow. We see him from inspiration to creation to how he came to life to just moments before Dorothy comes along and I think you all know what happens after that. Yes, we see his purported origin from The Royal Book of Oz incorporated into this story, but that couldn't have happened if the Wicked Witch of the East hadn't had a hand in it first! Yes, it turns out, besides the Tin Woodman, she also has a hand in bringing the Scarecrow to life. It seems Mombi wasn't the only one Dr. Nikidik gave his powder of life to! But the Wicked Witch of the East used it on the Scarecrow before he had a face (thus explaining how he knew what was going on even before he was put on that pole, which was not exactly how it worked in Royal Book). Besides a whole mess of crows, the Scarecrow also gets some advice from the Foolish Owl, and a pair of ravens who may have come out of Norse mythology.

I'll be honest, this one just doesn't work for me. It is really long, for one thing. It needed a couple pages cut out to tighten things up. And it twists itself into pretzels trying to incorporate all known mainstream origins of the Scarecrow into one whole narrative. But in my opinion, the worst part is that there is a crow in it named Jim. Yes, L. Frank Baum (as Laura Bancroft) had a character named Bandit Jim Crow in one of his books, and I believe the inclusion of the character here (spoken of, but never making an appearance) is meant to be the same character. But in this day and age, when the term "Jim Crow" has all kinds of negative connotation, I question the need to include him in this story. In fact, serving in my capacity as a contributing editor to the magazine (albeit uncredited in this issue), I found my notes for this issue and made that same point way back in the day. I also noticed that many other comments I'd made, mostly having to do with typography or grammar, were also not acted on, so I wonder if the editor was even able to incorporate my thoughts.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Today's Oz Comic

Over in today's edition of Lio, our protagonist meets an entity that would rather be somewhere else than where it is meant to be. Don't worry, it all makes sense in context.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Latest Oz Reading AT LAST!

My life has been crazy hectic and busy the past few months. So while I'm not happy to be at work, I am happy that this enforced respite has given me the chance to catch up on some badly neglected reading, and I'm finally back into my Oz track! So as I've been doing lately, I'm starting with one of the Famous Forty, reading them (mostly) in order. Last week I had the pleasure to reread The Emerald City of Oz, the book L. Frank Baum had originally intended to end the series with. What struck me this time around is the pacing, and where the chapters fell. He starts off by alternating between the Nome King and his machinations to conquer Oz, and Dorothy's attempt to help Aunt Em and Uncle Henry out of their financial troubles. Of course she does it by asking Ozma to bring them to Oz so all three of them can live there permanently! Baum starts off by alternating chapters between the two plot strands, which makes sense. But the story of the Nomes wrap up pretty quickly, so most of the second half of the book is just a travelogue while Dorothy shows her family around their new home (which also gives Baum some terrific opportunities to build his world). When they come towards the end of their journey and learn the news of the nomes' impending invasion, it comes as a surprise to the reader just as much as it does to the characters, because the book hasn't dealt with them for so long. I doubt this was deliberate on Baum's part, but it works very well. Had he sprinkled the chapters about the nomes preparing to invade out a little more, I think it would have not only lessened the impact of the news that they were coming, but it would probably have also lessened the impact of the nomes' preparations in the early chapters, since they all came fast and thick and showed just how wily Guph was by the allies he recruited. I did wonder, also, why Ozma didn't use the Magic Belt to completely fill in the tunnel before the armies started marching to Oz. Also, considering how many days it can take characters to walk across Oz, could the invaders have marched the entire length of the tunnel in one night? Butoverall, it is a magnificent book, the invasion is handle very neatly, and Baum tied up the loose ends in such a way that, if this had been the actual end of the series, it would be a satisfying one. But thank goodness he needed the money that another bestselling Oz book could provide!

I pondered whether to read The Patchwork Girl of Oz or The Sea Fairies next, but now I'm going to read them both! There's no rule that says Trot and Cap'n Bill's adventures couldn't happen at the same time as events were happening in Oz. After that, I'll read both Tik-Tok of Oz and Sky Island, which then very neatly brings me to The Scarecrow of Oz, Trot and Cap'n Bill's first official Oz book. But before that, I have a stack of other books I will be reading over the next few weeks. I hope to tell you more about them later.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Kingdom of Dreams

I am intrigued by this title! See, way back in 1914, when the first map of Oz was published as the endpapers of Tik-Tok of Oz, there were several countries that, at that point, had not been visited in the Oz books. Over the next few years, however, L. Frank Baum filled in the gaps and recorded adventures in all of them—except one. The Kingdom of Dreams is down by the lands of the Phanfasms and Growleywogs, and just north of Boboland. And it never appeared in the Oz books. But this episode may just address that! Okay, let me go ahead and get started.

A rabbit comes to Dorothy asking for help. Some sort of monster is scaring away the animals of the Emerald Forest. Naturally, Dorothy thinks this is a job for the king of the forest, the Lion. Unfortunately, he's in the Kingdom of Dreams. Dorothy thinks this is a metaphor, but it urns out that in Oz, the Kingdom of Dreams is a real live place. The Scarecrow and Tin Man don't know where it is, so Dorothy seeks help from Ozma. Sure enough, it was Ozma who sent him there, but forgot to mention that he wouldn't want to return. It's up to Dorothy to convince him to want to leave! So they head to the Isle of Yew (!), where the kingdom is located. The Ruby Slippers can't take them, so Ozma conjures up a magic sleeping pillow to take them there. Once they wake up again, they meet up with Theodore, a bear with a magic sailboat who promises to take them to the Kingdom of Dreams. Before long, everyone has turned into kid versions of themselves, as that's a lot less scary for the Lion to imagine. They find the Lion (as a cub) sliding down the greatest, most magical treehouse any of hem have seen, and he is very happy to see them. But when Dorothy tells him why they are there, he resists. He's happy to be a kid again, with nothing to be scared of. He takes his friends on a tour, and they end up flying around his treehouse. But as it's all a dream, the Lion figures he can save the Emerald Forest without going back to Oz, Sure enough, he dreams himself into the Emerald Forest, where he single-handedly conquers all the monsters. But then he realizes that it was all in his head, and not real life. But he is enjoying his new life so much, he still can't leave. The rest go back to Oz and try to figure out what to do, but have no luck. But then the Lion appears, fully grown, and deals with the monsters. He then thanks Dorothy for reminding him what's really important.

Getting back to my lead paragraph, they got the geography on this all wrong. In the books the Kingdom of Dreams is on the mainland, but here it's on the Isle of Yew, the setting for one of L. Frank Baum's non-Oz fantasies. Oh, well, it's not like this show is striving for complete fealty to the books anyway. It was still fun. The Kingdom of Dreams reminds me of Little Nemo's Slumberland, with all the unusual but kid-friendly dream imagery. The gang as kids (or, in Dorothy's case, an even younger kid) are cute, and a fun way to show the sharp divide between the real world and Lion's dream. And you knew, the moment the Lion realized that his dream was not reality, that he would come back and deal with the monsters, even if they faked us out a little before it actually happened. Anyway, another fun episode that definitely played to its intended demographic.

This Week's Oz Short Story

My goal, when I set out to read and blog one Oz short story every week, was to read the story over the weekend (or, if it were particularly long, during the week running up to the weekend), then blog about it right away, or the next day. Well, we are currently living in uncertain times, as I'm sure you are all well aware by now. Aside from the corona virus outbreak playing havoc with my work schedule (I am a teacher whose spring break has now been extended two weeks, and that may change down the road), my wife has been undergoing her own, unrelated medical issues as well, and I'm having to take on a lot more responsibilities to support her. What this all boils down to is, I'm having a hard time sticking to my once-every-week during-the-weekend goal. So please forgive me if I'm a day or two off, or I end up skipping a week here or there (as has already happened with my viewing of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz). But here it is, Monday morning, and I have another tale from the 2011 issue of Oziana, which is "The Solitary Sorceress of Oz" by Mycroft Mason, with illustrations by Isabelle Melançon. And I'm going to talk about the illustrations first, because when I first saw them I recognized the style right away, as Melançon is also the artist for the terrific (and Ozzy) webcomic, Namesake. There are only four illustrations, but they are definitely charming and distinctive, just like her Namesake work. As to the story itself, Trot starts to wonder about Glinda and her background, and how lonely she seems to be. Sure enough, Glinda (being Glinda, after all) finds out, and calls Trot down to the Quadling Country to tell her own origin story! It turns out, like Dorothy, the Wizard, and Trot, Glinda originally came to Oz from the Great Outside World! Unlike those others, however, she was a housemaid from England, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Finding herself in an abandoned castle in a strange country, she did what just about any other young woman would do: She investigated, and found all kinds of magic spells and potions and books and the like. Since most of the locals thought the castle was haunted, she didn't have a lot of interruptions, and over several centuries she has learned a lot about what's in those books—but she also confesses to Trot that she has a lot more to learn, as there are many books she hasn't even opened yet!

True confession time: Many, many years ago, I wrote my own origin story for Glinda. She was a young Quadling farmgirl whom the fairies of Burzee decided to train after turning Oz into a fairyland, and she became orphaned after the Wicked Witch of the South killed her parents. Frankly, I like this origin better! It's terrific insight into just who Glinda is and what makes her tick, and also explains a lot of why she wasn't always able to do as much for Oz in the past as she can now. Trot even has to point out to her that it wasn't her fault Mombi did so much of what she did to Ozma. My only issue is that it is all told as a narrative from Glinda. Now, that is exactly how it would have played out as she talked to Trot, but it may have been a more captivating story for the reader if some portions had been told in flashback instead. For that matter, I would have liked to have read more about what Glinda did in those first months and years, and how she learned about and reacted to being in another country. Still, what we have is terrific, and I think Mason was trying to emphasize the relationship between Glinda and Trot anyway.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Today's Other Oz Comic

Here's a late discovery. What would happen if some other characters had travelled down the yellow brick road with Dorothy? Well, today's edition of Reality Check gives us one such possibility, but one that I am glad didn't actually happen. Too much explaining to deal with!

Today's Vintage Oz Comic

For those who don't already know, The FarSide is online at last! So far, it's all been classics, but apparently Gary Larson may be providing us with some new ones before long. But until that happens, here's an old classic that Oz fans may enjoy (although I'll admit I don't recall ever seeing this one before; it has been a long time, however, since I read it on a regular basis).

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Dorothy's Detective Agency

So what, I wonder, could compel Dorothy to become a detective? Well, a visit to Munchkinland starts things off as the statue of Glinda is missing her wand. The Munchkins think it was stolen, but Dorothy uses a little logic and her knowledge of the previous night's weather to find it had blown into the duck pond. So the Munchkins ask her about a whole bunch of other mysteries, which she manages to solve pretty rapidly. Dorothy then tells the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion about all the detective movies she saw back in Kansas with Uncle Henry, notably ones featuring Sam Spade ("Isn't he the talking shovel who lives just outside the Emerald City?" asks the Tin Man) and Phillip Marlowe. By the time they get back to the Emerald City, a line has formed for Dorothy's services. So, she goes into business, with the proper setting. She sets up a darkened office, puts on a fedora and trench coat, and starts narrating a montage of her cases. It ends with the Scarecrow turning on the light and asking, "Who are you talking to?" A big bang just outside the city gates brings them all outside to find Ozma and the Wizard in the vicinity. Ozma has no recollection of what caused the bang, so it's up to the Wizard to give an account of what happened. It seems a blur attacked Ozma. Dorothy follows the clues, and finds Wilhelmina hiding in the roadside rosebushes. It looks bad for her, but she protests her innocence. This being Wilhelmina, nobody quite believes her, but Dorothy thinks it's all a little too neat, and the Wizard seems especially eager to put her into custody. Sure enough, another examination of the clues unveils new evidence, and Dorothy is able to prove Wilhelmina's innocence, even at the expense of uncovering the young witch's love of roses. No, it was a charm in the Wizard's back pocket that went off and caused the chaos. Knowing he messed up, he decided to cover his tracks by putting the blame on Wilhelmina after spotting her in the rosebushes. The case is solved, but Wilhelmina is not at all happy with the Wizard and vows revenge. Dorothy decides Oz has a lot of mysteries that don't all need to be solved, so she shuts down the agency.

Yeah, this was all very silly, and just a way to tell an old-fashioned hard-boiled film noir-style detective story. But they have fun with it. The Tin Man, especially, has no idea what Dorothy is talking about half the time, and the boys have some fun popping holes in the tropes of the genre. Detective Dorothy is cute, but I'm glad his is only a one-off, and she's not going to keep it. Finally, now that they've opened that bag, I want to see Sam Spade the talking shovel appear in the show!

Today's Oz Comic

All I can say about today's edition of Mother Goose and Grimm is that Dorothy should be grateful she had Toto with her in Oz and not Grimm!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

The next story in the 2011 issue of Oziana is "Jenny Everywhere in Oz" by Kass Stone, with illustrations by Alejandro Garcia. This is a fun one, since Jenny Everywhere is a public domain character, created specifically so that anyone can use her in any story. She appears primarily in web comics and online stories, and I gather this is one of her rare appearances in print. Two things that make Jenny special is that there are many different versions of her (there would have to be, since so many people have written about her, and they're not all identical), and she is in touch with the memories and perceptions of all of her other selves. The other is that she can shift between dimensions, visiting various worlds at will. She starts off this story briefly visiting a couple of familiar-looking worlds before shifting to one she is excited to learn is Oz. She decides she can spend some time there, but before too long she runs afoul of Lady Mogo, the former apprentice to the Wicked Witch of the East. Mogo's plans for revenge against Dorothy are coming to fruition, and she doesn't want Jenny to spoil things. Being the kickin' action heroine that she is, however, Jenny escapes and meets up with Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse (whom she fangirls over), who take her to see Glinda. Sure enough, Glinda is able to easily take care of Mogo—and then things get weird! It turns out Jenny Everywhere is not the only character in the story in touch with her parallel-universe counterparts! There is a Legion of Glindas that meet, when needed, to deal with interdimensional issues between different versions of Oz. And some of those Glindas are very different, in that they are not all humanoid, or even organic. Not all of them are even Glinda, although they serve that function in their respective Ozes. (Ozzes? Hmm.) One of those non-Glinda members has an elegant, Ozzy offer for Mogo, who accepts, and so she is no longer a danger to the main Oz (whichever one that is.) Jenny then goes on to spend a happy month in Oz before shifting out of there and into another famed literary land.

Well that was a trip! Jenny's a great character, and by her very nature she can probably fit into just about any story you'd care to write. But it's the Legion of Glindas that raises all kinds of fascinating questions. Between this and Edward Einhorn's novel Paradox in Oz, anyone can explain away any inconsistencies in any version of Oz. Garcia's two-page spread of many of the Legion members is fascinating, and I would love to see a version in color. And Mogo is a credible threat to Oz, but she is handled in such an Ozzy way that she ends up happy in the end.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Today's Vintage Oz Comic Strip

Something about today's edition of Pop Culture Shock Therapy looked familiar. Sure enough, a search through this blog of previous edition of PCST turned it up a little over three years ago. Well, if it's a good and Ozzy comic, it's worth visiting again, I say!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Today's Oz Comic

Today in Yaffle, Dr. Oz makes an appropriate appearance, and no, it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

Okay, here's a much better (and, ironically, not actually political) and even Ozzier cartoon about the corona virus than yesterday's. It's from the Wisconsin State Journal out of Madison, giving some good advice on how to handle things. Appropriately enough, the cartoonist is named Phil Hands!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Today's Oz Comics

Another double dip today:

  • CowTown is a strange little strip about, in general, barbecue and Kansas City. (Boy, you should have seen it during the Chiefs' Super Bowl run!) So it's no surprise that today features Oz, but in a somewhat different way.
  • And come on, you knew it had to happen eventually, but Ken Catilano appears to be the first political cartoonist to draw an Oz-themed cartoon about the COVID-19 virus.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

The second story in the 20110 issue of Oziana is "Blinkie of Oz" by Justice C. S. Fischer, with illustrations by Dennis Anfuso. Yes, it's an origin story for Blinkie, the wicked witch seen in The Scarecrow of Oz—but it turns out that book wasn't the first time we met her! When Dorothy melted the Wicked Witch of the West, she was able to hold her essence together well enough to hide out in the sewers beneath her castle and start pulling herself back together. It wasn't easy, but by the time she pulled it off, she found herself in Jinxland. Changing her name to disguise herself from the Great Book of Records, she quickly established herself in her new home. We see the events of The Scarecrow of Oz from her perspective, and it is noted that the Scarecrow never actually met her in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, so he had no reason to recognize her when he visited Jinxland. But when Dorothy and Ozma come on a state visit, the jig is up, because Dorothy recognizes her right away. So a final fate befalls the witch, which I won't tell you about here in the hopes you will get the issue and read it for yourself.

In my opinion, this was not the most successful of stories. It's straightforward, linear, and by-the-numbers, and didn't really surprise much. But it at least explains why both the Wicked Witch of the West and Blinkie both have only one eye, and it holds together. This story is sparse on dialogue, however, with a lot of third-person narrator exposition. Anyway, this one felt a little flat for me.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: The Tin Giant

And we're back! I figured I'd better get this week's episode taken care of as quick as possible. This episode opens with Smith and Tinker having to deal with their latest invention, but just as soon as that's done, Wilhelmina kidnaps them! Tik-Tok witnesses it, and runs to inform Dorothy and the boys. (Drop the bad Italian accent on Tik-Tok already! He's one of my favorite favorite characters in the books, but the only one I actually hate in this show! But I digress.) Next thing we see is Smith and Tinker putting the finishing touches on a tin giant in Wilhelmina's castle. But before she can get into the control seat, the Wicked Witch of the West gets in first! Thinking she knows it all, the Wicked Witch doesn't wait for final instructions from the giant's creators before storming out of the castle and running roughshod over the countryside. So Dorothy, Toto, Wilhelmina, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Frank, Lyman, Smith, Tinker, and Tik-Tok (phew!) all go after her. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch is having problems navigating her toy, but eventually she gets the hang of it and terrorizes the Munchkin city. She eventually captures the Wizard and demands her powers back, but by now the rest of the crew have caught up to her, and Wilhelmina demands her tin giant back. She gets into the cockpit, and she and her auntie keep commanding the tin giant to get rid of the other one. Before long, he gets rid of them both, and runs rampant around the countryside. Frank and Lyman rescue Wilhelmina, but the Wicked Witch isn't so lucky. Eventually, the Tin Man appeals speaks from his heart and appeals to the tin giant's better nature, and stops him from destroying everything. So, who gets him now? The Wicked Witch has had enough of him, and Wilhelmina decides, after they save her life, that Frank and Lyman are enough servants for her. They take off, so Smith and Tinker take over the tin giant and leave with Tik-Tok. Dorothy and her crew ruby slipper out of there, knowing that everything has been worked out satisfactorily. The poor Wicked Witch is left all alone in the middle of a field.

Well, this is essentially The Wizard of Oz does mecha. Hey, who doesn't like seeing a giant robot running berserk around the countryside, so long as all's well in the end? I don't really have much to add, except this is definitely one of the sillier episodes of this show.