I’VE A FEELING WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANY MORE.
The Grimm Fairy Tales Universe has long explored, expanded and destroyed the three Realms with Earth stuck in the middle. In all this time, wedged between the Realms of Myst the realm of magic, Neverland the source of imagination, Wonderland a world of dreams, and Earth the Nexus that binds them existed a fourth, Oz “The Realm of Hope”. Finally, with the help of one of the creators of Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales, Joe Brusha takes up the pen and we finally get to take a walk down the yellow brick road in Oz #1.
This is definitely not your grandmothers Wizard of Oz.. The first glimpses show a dark world plagued by witches, shadows, wolves and death. It’s certainly not Kansas, made even more evident contrasted against the bright colors and vibrant artwork of Rolando Di Sessa and Glauber Matos. Dorothy has the Zenescope flair and independent drive just waiting to burst through her farm girl life.
You can take the farm girl out of the farm, but you can’t take the highborn out of the girl. Dorothy exhibits a hidden power that eludes her, entices her and flows through her – however briefly. From the dark comes Toto. He too is not what he was, but the hulking near-wolf creature quickly takes to our heroine hiding a secret that might well hold the key to why the witches of Oz continue to hunt him. The wolf is a large step up from the little yappy dog of the movies, and I want one!
There is more than just Toto that has changed. Besides the obvious change in Dorothy’s wardrobe the darker elements have also undergone a transformation. The witches have upgraded their help as well. It won’t be a skip down the lane in sunshine, but one more mature. Probably the most dynamic change takes place when Dorothy finally lands in Muchkin Land; let’s just say I don’t see them breaking out into song anytime soon.
In true Zenescope fashion the art is beautiful, Dorothy is beautiful yet strong and there is big trouble brewing. The pacing is fantastic for a first issue setting crumbs of a larger mystery, introducing characters and establishing it’s own presence. There’s a promise that the events in Oz will spill over into the rest of the Grimm Fairy Tale Universe with Dorothy standing at the center of things. As a standalone title or accompanying the Grimm titles, OZ #1 is a fine addition to Zenescope’s lineup, one that I can’t wait to see where this yellow brick road takes us.