Monday, September 05, 2005

Joint Review - OZF5: Gale Force

Hello! This is Eric and Laura (aka Tegan). We're going to review another comic book... together! This time it's OZF5: Gale Force from Alias Comics.

OZF5: Gale ForceTegan here... I'm not sure what I expected from this comic, but the solicit made it sound like another "Oz Squad" to me, and I didn't really enjoy the angle that "Oz Squad" took on Oz. It was a little too violent. So I think I came into this book with a lot of doubt.

Eric here... I pretty much felt the same way. There have been so many permutations of the "dark Oz" theme, and this just looked like more of the same. On the other hand, the ads do say that "this time, Dorothy has a water gun". So maybe they're not taking it quite so seriously.

I didn't get enough of that impression to change my expectations. I definitely came into this book thinking it was going to be very dark.

So! Let's dig in, shall we?

Ok, first few pages, very dark. Extremely difficult to read.

Very prologue-y. Nice take on the Scarecrow, though.

How can you tell? I can hardly read it. The text just blends in. It's so monochromey and dark.

Yeah, but nice take on the Scarecrow, all flexible like you would expect someone stuffed with straw to be. The Lion looks good in a kilt.

Ok, I'll give you that much. But it's still really hard to read. Whoever did the design on this made a poor choice of font and color. I'll admit, I nearly gave up on the book after just a couple of pages. Luckily, I flipped forward a bit and saw that the whole thing wasn't this bad.

So why is the Tin Woodman a robot? That's Tik-Tok!

He's a robot? Where does it say that?

He's steam driven. It's in that part you can't read. Oh look! The witch is about to be squashed by a house.


It's in that part you can't read.

Oh. Ok.

Oh look, real text! Now Laura can understand what's going on.

Hey, and color, too. The writing is suddenly readable and the pages brighten up so much... the difference is as big as... well, from Kansas to Oz in the MGM movie.

Can you understand what the Lion's saying? When did he become Scottish? It works with the kilt though.

Yeah... not too bad. But who's the chick in purple?

That is Dorothy. Looking like she never has before. And she wants to kick some Winkie butt.

What have the Winkies ever done to her?!??

How does she even know what a Winkie is? She just got to Oz.

I was gonna ask that. Next. Really. Ok, about this point, just a couple of pages into the color section, I'm beginning to get the impression that this book is not... um... as serious as I thought it would be.

Yeah, I get that too...

The Tin Woodman saying Kansas sounds exotic was one big hint. The Lion asking if Dorothy has another house handy was another clue.

But on the next page... her giant water pistol! Actually, that's more of a water rifle, isn't it?

Um, yeah. That's a big gun. How does she know water will harm the witch? Should I stop asking dumb questions and just enjoy the ride?

Oh yeah.

Gee, the Wicked Witch of the West looks like Elphaba.

And the monkeys have jetpacks! Monkeys with jetpacks! That rocks!

Couldn't you see that in a Silver Age DC book?

Yeah, and if we looked hard enough I'm sure we'd find an example of it. Heh... If the monkeys in Kansas don't have rocket packs... *giggle*

Aw, we didn't see most of the battle. One minute there's fifty or sixty flying monkeys, the next they're on the yellow brick road.

What, the monkeys?

No, Dorothy and her friends! Try and keep up.

Sorry. Is Toto a bulldog?

He seems a little big for a bulldog, but I'm not sure just what he is. Oooh, Kalidahs!

Bless you.

You're getting into the spirit of the book, aren't you?

Heh heh heh.

Flying Scarecrow, falling Kalidahs. Again, good use of the Scarecrow being stuffed with straw. Many writers seem to forget that.

Not to mention his brains. He comes up with a nice little plan there.

The fighting trees showed up early. Then again, this book doesn't seem to care much for the proper chronology of the novel, anyway.


The monkey king looks like the rocketeer.

The witch can cry, and it hurts her. If that holds true for all bodily fluids that might touch her skin, no wonder she's in such a bad mood. Ouch.

Ooooh poppies!

Oooh, groan, a "disturbance in the forest". Now I know not to take this very seriously.

It seems to be moving along at a fairly standard Oz clip. The humor is good.... Did Dorothy just kick the witch into her own cauldron?!??

Yeah, she did. That's new.

The flying monkeys aren't. I mean the bit about the crown.

Yes, but Dorothy giving them their freedom right away is. Well handled, I thought.


What, it ends with Dorothy as the new Witch of the West?

Well, it's not supposed to be the last issue. They wanna do more, apparently.

Ok, works for me. All in all I thought it was a fun ride.

Except for the beginning, which was pretty much unreadable for me, this was pretty fun, yeah. There were a lot of good bits and silly puns.

It reminded me of a DC Elseworlds title. Odd but satisfying. And it certainly played by its own rules. So if you want a fun, not-too-serious Oz read, go for it. Traditionalists might want to stay away from it.

Until next time, this has been a joint review from Eric and Laura (Tegan) Gjovaag. Hope you liked it!

No comments: