Review by: Mark Palm
I know that a lot of people feel otherwise, but I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of The Wizard of Oz. Now I was a big fan of Gregory McGuire's Wicked, but was disappointed with the musical. I haven't read any of the books, and the only things that grabbed me in the original film were the Wicked Witch, the flying monkeys, and the antic flexibility of Ray Bolger. So why am I interviewing Oz by Joe Brusha, Orlando Di Sessa and Miguel Mendonca, because it's a comic book.
Now you think that I would have loved this thing because the cover shows Dorothy looking like a cross between Wonder Woman and a Playboy centerfold in a pair of Daisy Dukes and a cutoff-shirt that would get you arrested unless you are Britney Spears. Most of the characters are like-wise pumped up for this re-telling, with all of the Witches looking like centerfolds, and Toto as a wolf the size of a small pony with a penchant for tearing his enemies throats out. The Lion is a sword-wielding barbarian, the Woodsman is a cyborg, and the Scarecrow is almost as scary as the flying monkeys.
Now the basic story is the same, except that Dorothy Gale is more, shall we say, proactive; on her arrival in Oz she dispatches Zinna, with a bolt of energy from a wand that basically tears the Witch to pieces. After this we discover that Dorothy has a Destiny, and that the fate of not only Oz and Earth, but many other worlds hang precariously in the balance. So we continue down the Yellow Brick Road, except every few pages they encounter a terrific battle with swords being slung, energy bolts flung, and blood spilled.
If it sounds like I am being dismissive of this adaption, I am, a bit, but the thing is that in a kind of brainless way it was a lot of fun. The story has nothing new to say, but the pencils and inks, and the colors are all very-well done, and the layouts are top-notch. There is no singing, and no dancing, and there is plenty of blood and mayhem, and did I mention that Dorothy and all of the Witches look like centerfolds? All that this story needed was a good catch-phrase, and I am sure that you would be seeing this adaptation showing up on the big screen a few years from now. So I beat the rush, checked my brain in and liked Oz. Like most works of its kind. However, I forgot most of the story five minutes later, which kind of makes me appreciate the film a little bit more, because I still can remember the flying monkeys.