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Wonderful Wizard of Oz #5

Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2009
By: Karyn Pinter

Eric Shanower
Skottie Young, Jean- François Beaulieu (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Wonderful Wizard of Oz #5 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 8.

Finally, the Wicked Witch! She's not green and she doesn't sing – this is the real Witch of the West. She's ugly, mean, and just the way she's meant to be.

Upon leaving the Emerald City, Dorothy and gang are warned that the Wicked Witch will make them her slaves or just kill them if she finds them wandering in her lands. Of course, the four heroes go forth on their journey to stop the Wicked Witch, and she does see them wandering her lands, so she orders her wolves to tear them to pieces. Well, the wolves don't exactly succeed; they are hacked to bits by the Tin Woodsman who exerts some serious bad-assitude. Next the Witch sends her crows. I'll let you guess who gets to dispatch a flock of crows. Next comes bees, then slaves with weapons, both of whom don't even come close to killing or capturing the quad of heroes. Now, the moment we've all been waiting for… Flying Monkeys! The Flying Monkeys lay waste to Tin Man and Scarecrow, and capture Lion and Dorothy to take them back to the Wicked Witch. The Witch has noticed the silver shoes Dorothy's wearing and sets out to take them from her to gain ultimate power. Dorothy melts the witch (it's so much cooler than in the movie), and sets free the slaves who help her rescue Tin Man and Scarecrow and put them back together. After their great ordeal the group is reunited, and head off to see Oz to tell him they defeated the Wicked Witch and claim their rewards.

This is one of the best issues yet, and that's saying something since so far they've all been great. The artwork is again superb; the Wicked Witch is amazingly ugly and vile and everything that she should be. Of course, we all have the green faced Margaret Hamilton in mind when we hear Wicked Witch of the West, but here, in the comic, we see her true representation: dark stringy hair, one eye, missing teeth – I can only assume she would smell too, like old cheese. She certainly looks like she would. The Flying Monkeys are great and oddly cute in a freaky way – maybe it's the little hats. The coloring was really good in this issue. The dark and icky creatures belonging to the Wicked Witch look so horrific and nightmarish. Apparently, the Wicked Witch is afraid of the dark, so she won't enter Dorothy's cell when she captures her because of what lives in the dark corners. Man, whatever those are they are scary. Page 14 impressed me, the top three panels in particular, as the Witch is calling the Flying Monkeys. I love the watercolor of the sky and the dark silhouette of the Witch. Fabulous.

I can't get enough of this Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but I’m afraid I’m running the risk of just repeating myself with all the praise I give it. But it deserves all of it. Love it, love it, and love it. It's one of the best comics on the market today, and seriously, if you are not reading this comic you ought to.






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