Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Latest Oz Reading, Comic Books Edition

I may not have been blogging much more than Oz comic strips lately, but that is far from the only Oz reading I've been doing. In fact, I have a decent little pile of Oz and related books I've read recently that I want to blog about before putting them in my inventory. So I will start by catching up on the comic books.

  • First, Oz: Reign of the Witch Queen is just about over at Zenescope, as I've now read issue 4 and issue 5. I just don't feel a lot of connection to this book, mostly because Zenescope's take on Oz has so little connection to any other version of Oz. Witch Queen is all about Dorothy being a badass and becoming the new ruler of Oz while wearing as few clothes as possible. Uh-huh, yeah, whatever. Zamora, the resurrected Wicked Witch of the West, has taken over Abraxas Academy (which is probably nothing at all like either Hogwart's or Shiz University, uh-huh) as her base, while Dorothy and her allies keep getting pushed back. Dorothy finally realizes that she has to go on the offensive and face Zamora — her mother. Then comes the twist ending of issue 5 as a character makes a surprise appearance, setting things up for an all-out battle royale in the finale. And I just hope this really is a finale. So far, at least, Zenescope has made no announcements of a further Oz series, at least, which is fine with me.
  • In much better news, The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West is back! Reimagining Oz as the Wild West should have been absurd, but it works here! Wisely, I think, the new publisher, Aspen Comics, decided to reissue the series from the beginning. Aspen is a bigger publisher, so they can get new readers hooked by starting over, rather than expecting them to catch up. Wisely, for those of us who bought the olh Big Dog version, they've added some new material in a backup story going back to the origins of Oz and the witches' talismans. Again, for those just joining the fun, issue 1 sees Gale and her horse, Toto, coping with being in Oz for three years since the cyclone whisked them away, and she took possession of the Wicked Witch of the East's ruby spurs and six-shooters. The yellow brick road keeps disappearing on them, and now she's being menaced by flying gorillas. But she also picks up two traveling allies in a lion and a disgraced former sheriff, still wearing his tin star. In issue 2, the Wicked Witch of the West makes her first appearance, and Gale picks up her third companion and my favorite character in the book, a giant living Native American kachina doll, called a scarecrow by the Tin Man. She's great, and she doesn't even talk! It's good to have this book back, and I am really looking forward to revisiting the story. I hope it goes long enough to continue where the original series left off!

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