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Return to Wonderland #3

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2007
By: Bruce Logan



Writer: Raven Gregory
Artist(s): Daniel Leister, Nei Ruffino (c)

Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment


Exlamation: “By far my favorite Alice in Wonderland story, (and that includes the original too)!”

Explanation: As foreshadowed in the previous issue, the Caterpillar finally makes his appearance, as does the Mad Hatter. Both kooks play their parts quite well and although I don’t remember completely how it was in the original, I am pretty sure the Hatter wasn’t anywhere near as sinister in Lewis Carroll’s story as he is in its 21st century update. Also popping up, though only just, is the Cat. Oh, and the costume that Carroll has been sporting in all the covers, well, she finally gets it, thanks (in a creepy twisted way) to the GHB slipping, false skin wearing, Uber-creepy old man, necrophiliac, rapist, Mad Hatter.

Examination: I have never been a fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (the original of the story as titled by Lewis Carroll), not when I first came across it in an animated form, not when I saw its live action version and definitely not when I finally got around to reading it. In fact, reading it proved to be such a chore that I even stopped before I got to the three-fourths mark. Yet, not only am I enjoying this modernized retelling I actively look forward to each new issue. I have even gone so far as wishing that this were an ongoing series instead of a mini, although (thankfully) that thought lasted all of five minutes for were it an ongoing this version would also become as cumbersome and dragged out as the original.

Of the two Wonderland characters debuting this issue, the Mad Hatter is easily the star, not (just) because of his being the way he is but also for the reaction he draws out from Carroll. Make no mistake, the part involving the Caterpillar is not weak or boring in any way, it just doesn’t match the Hatter in the ‘creepy’ factor. As for Carroll’s reaction, I all but hooted at the beat down she gives to Hat-freak.

As interesting as the main plot is there is another developing mystery that has me intrigued since the very first issue, that being Carroll’s twisted brother, Johnny. I hope this is dealt with before the mini is over.

Even given how fast paced and involving the story is I don’t think the overall experience would have been quite the same without the amazing artwork. From the human characters to the non-human ones, the creative team of Daniel Leister and Nei Ruffino score a perfect hit just about every time. I especially like the depth and detail they give to the backgrounds. The only negative (if at that) I can think of is that ‘look’ given to Carroll seems a bit too cheesecake, especially given her age. Then again, her voluptuousness could be deliberate to set her apart from Alice of the original story, which in the context of this story would be her own mother.

Proclamation: I am so looking forward to the next issue.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net



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