Tuesday, February 04, 2020

The Latest Oz Reading

A lot of stuff going on in my life has prevented me from getting a lot of reading done. I am so close to my next cycle of Oz reading, but everything else going on is making it a challenge to get there. But I am keeping up on reading the comic books that come through our door, and much to my surprise Oz popped up! When I picked up Shazam! #9, I thought, hey, is the the Scarecrow behind the Big Red Cheese's right shoulder? A Neill-esque Scarecrow, no less? Sure enough, this issue has a trip to Oz—sort of. The current storyline is about how Billy, Mary, and their siblings are stuck in a number of lands branching off from the Rock of Eternity. Here, they end up in The Wozenderlands, a mash-up between Oz and Wonderland. (Alice and Dorothy brought them together during a crisis to protect them from the Monsterlands.) The Scarecrow and the Munchkins take the Shazams to see Dorothy, but Billy has to deal with some family issues first, and we don't see a resolution to this part of the storyline, nor do we meet Dorothy. Meanwhile, Sivana and Mr. Mind have found the Rock of Eternity, and the issue concludes with the line, "Next: The War of the Magiclands". So I suspect we'll see more of this version of Oz in the next issue.

One of the oldest comic books I own is one from the '40s featuring Captian Marvel, Jr., encountering a bunch of Oz characters. And these were contemporary Oz characters, as they all came from the books penned by John R. Neill. So the current version going to Oz may not be quite as astonishing or unprecedented as one might think. And The Wozenderlands definitely fits into what the writers are creating here. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to how this plays out, and seeing some other Oz characters turn up.

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