Exclamation: “Just when you thought it couldn’t get better or creepier…or confusing!”
Explanation: Last issue the Cheshire cat made its first proper appearance and crunched the Queen of Hearts into the land of the dead. In this penultimate part of this mini he continues with his massacre, getting not only a sizable part (but not all) of the Queen’s army of cards and also her sister. However, one person he cannot get to is Carroll Ann, getting cut open from the inside out from one of his past meals. Last seen in issue #2, Lacie returns to the story, from within the Cheshire cat’s belly. Killing the cat she reveals the truth of her identity to Caroll Ann, and the mother and daughter have a tearful reunion hug, something that they haven’t had in the real world for years. What follows next, both in the fairy land and the real world, ratchets the creepy factor of the story even further. Not only do the residents of Wonderland return to life (it’s a never ending nightmare fairy tale after all) but there is yet another major occurrence in the real world, one even larger than last issue’s murder.
Examination: Right off the mark I’d like to state that I did not see that ending coming. Not before and certainly not after how the rest of this issue played out. Sure in hindsight certain dialogues and an event or two might be taken to be foreshadowing it (i.e. the ending) but still, it was a direct bolt from the blue. In that way it somewhat matches Calie/Carroll Ann’s brother killing off his dad’s mistress in the last issue but even that doesn’t have quite the same hit as the one here. Still, with one more issue to go until the end I am glad that creative team played this out when they did, for it gives them enough time to deal/explain its effects, reasoning etc.
As for the rest of the issue, it’s rather straightforward. Sure there is the twist of the ugly sister of the hot Queen of Hearts, but except for their being conjoined (it appeared that way to me) is relatively minor. Bigger than it was the reanimation of the residents of the Wonderland. From the Mad Hatter to the card soldiers to the Queen(s), everyone returns from the dead, and not in the zombie undead way.
There isn’t much to say about the artwork that I didn’t in my http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/119090281331660.htm>previous review. The visuals are full, detailed and expressive as ever. Two thumbs up to the art team, for without them Return to Wonderland wouldn’t have been quite as enjoyable.
Proclamation: Going into the final home stretch Grimm Fairy Tales: Return to Wonderland has a lot of momentum behind it. Given how the rest of it has been, I am very much looking forward to the end and have absolutely no idea of what it will be.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at http://www.xcave.net
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