Grimm Fairy Tales: Warlord of Oz #1-2 (Comics Review)

In light of some of the recent events that have happened in the Grimmverse, such as the Age of Darkness brought about by the Dark Queen and the Dark One, I’ve become much more invested in the setting than I was a few months ago. Whether Wonderland or Oz or Myst, I want to read more about the different Grimm settings as imagined by the creators at Zenescope, in their style of (dark) adult fantasy. Considering I’ve become fairly familiar with Myst and Wonderland and Neverland in recent months, I thought that I’d try and get familiar with Oz at the same as well.

Warlord of Oz follows from the Oz and Tales From Oz mini-series, which introduced Dorothy Gale to the wider Grimmverse and which created an interesting interpretation of this classic story. I haven’t read the previous series, diving straight into Warlord of Oz in fact, but I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on something. Joe Brusha and Jeff Massey create a really involved story here that brings back Dorothy to Oz from Kansas and the art by Miguel Mendonca, Grostieta and the rest is also good for the most part, elaborating on Zenescope’s particular take on Oz and its inhabitants.

Warlord of Oz 0102Warlord of Oz starts off on a very dark note: with Dorothy having a vision of herself as the villain in Oz, laying waste to the Emerald City itself and being confronted by Glinda, the last surviving Witch of Oz, the only good witch it seems. Not being familiar with the characters, I can’t be sure whether this interpretation is correct or not, but I think it bears out, considering what I’ve read.

From Dorothy’s nightmare, we move on to the current state of affairs in Oz as the ruler of the realm, Thane, reorders his kingdom in the wake of the death of the fallen Witch Lynessa and her sister Zinna. Of course, the peace and calm can’t really last at all, and very soon events take a dark turn as Thorne returns to Oz and tells of the mysterious fate that has befallen his people. And it all ends in the second issue with Dorothy returning to Oz once more and learning about the new threat to it, the Warlord of Oz himself.

I liked the story here. It is different from what I’ve read in the other series focusing on Neverland, Wonderland and Myst. Dorothy herself is a different character as well, though there are similarities between her and Calie Liddle, her and Robyn Locksley. And the build-up of the Warlord’s return to Oz is pretty grim and terrifying as well, in typical Grimmverse fashion. Each character, whether hero or villain is shown in a good light in the story, giving them all something to do so that each becomes an integral part of the larger story.

And one thing I really liked was that Massey focused on the political troubles in Oz. That made the story seem that much more realistic. Yeah, it was kind of expected I suppose, given previous events, but still, it is a nice tough to see for this new mini-series. More realism of this kind is a good thing. Plus, we also got to see some of Dorothy’s troubles in Kansas itself, which was another nice tough. Dorothy isn’t just plain chilling out on her Kansas farm home, but is facing up to some private problems of her own.

The cliffhanger in the second issue is also a good one, and promises a lot of great action to come, unless I’ve missed my mark. Action and big battles are a core part of the Grimmverse and in Oz, that has a twist of its own.

With Miguel Mendonca on pencils, Grostieta on colours and Jim Campbell on letters we have David Finch and Ula Moson the cover for the first issue, with Sean Chen and Stephen Schaffer doing the same for the second issue. For the most part, the artwork is pretty decent here in this series. A bit too adult in some cases, even for a Zenescope titles and with a paper-thin argument for it nonetheless, but I liked it all the same. Soft inking and colours with a bit of a loose hand on the pencils means that the art in this new mini-series is quite different from that of most of the other Zenescope titles and that’s fine with me.

Recommended reading, yes.

Rating: 8/10

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Posted on September 9, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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