Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Latest Oz Reading

Hooray, I'm tearing through everything else and have gotten around to my next wave of Oz reading again! But right now, I have an item that I found out about and acquired through an ad on Kickstarter. Mount Olympus Comics was looking to fund issue #3 of their series Samurai of Oz, so I bit the bullet and funded it, with my reward being a set of the first three issues. Hey, if an Oz comic can be set in the Old West, why not feudal Japan? It quickly became apparant that Samurai of Oz had a rather, shall we say, relaxed attitude towards women's clothing. And the women were also—hmm, how to put this delicately?—stacked. Endowed. Top heavy, even. Okay, not my usual, but I was still interested, and Laura was okay with it, so I went for it.

Dorothy Blade is a great samurai swordswoman (yeah, I know, women weren't samurai, but most of this doesn't make much sense anyway, so just go with it, okay?) who finds herself and her pet wolf, Toto, swept to a far-off land after surprising thieves in her home. In the ensuing battle, Dorothy's kimono pops open (I did tell you), and one of the thieves leaps from the body she's occupying and into Toto! To keep Toto alive, they strike an uneasy alliance, and are saved by the Blade of the East, who wants Dorothy's ruby-handles swords, by a scarecrow. But he's no fan of hers and wants to take care of Dorothy as well. Dorothy and "Toto" escape, aided by the honorable Blade of the North. The scare demon is now Dorothy's reluctant companion, and now that they are out of immediate danger, Dorothy takes off her clothes (yeah, again) and goes for a swim. In the process, she finds the head of a metal statue, which she brings to the surface. Bringing the head back to the body reunites the metal warrior, both body and soul, and he is grateful, vowing to kill the scare demon! But Dorothy steps in and commands them to stop, so they become reluctant allies to protect Dorothy. Next up is a lioness-spirit who hunts demons, but Dorothy defeats her, too. And that's where issue three leaves off.

The setting is sure different, and the characters are also a lot different than in most other adaptations of Oz. Since this is set in a violent, warlike time, the characters also act the same way. And all the elements of the Japanese supernatural culture also make it interesting. I plan to keep on reading this, even if it means I have to acquire subsequent issues via Kickstarter campaigns. But it is not a cheap book, each issue covers very little of the story, and, well, Dorothy gets naked a lot. So I suspect it's not going to be a book for everyone's tastes. If you are a real Oz completist, into Japanese mythology, or just like the general premise, you may want to get this. But I suspect a lot of people will understand if you choose to take a pass on this one.

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