Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ozma of Oz #4 (of 8)

It's amazing to think that this mini-series is based on a children's book that was written almost a century ago - yet it feels just as fresh as though it were newly minted.

Ozma of Oz actually focuses more on our friend Dorothy Gale from Kansas, who has returned to the magical land of Oz (in the kingdom of Ev, to be exact), where she finds the wicked Princess Langwidere, who likes to wear a variety of different heads.

Dorothy refuses to allow the Princess to take her head, so the plucky girl is imprisoned in a tower - only to be rescued by the timely arrival of her friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and Ozma, the ruler of the Emerald City.

Her friends have arrived to investigate the disappearance of the true Royal Family of Ev, and they realize that they're going to have to face a powerful opponent.

This series continues to be a true delight, offering a faithful adaptation of the original story by L. Frank Baum, as adapted by Eric Shanower.

The art is by the unique and delightful Skottie Young. His characters are brimming with life and energy, and while they don't look like the traditional view of the characters in the original stories or in the MGM movie, they're spot on.

Special kudos for the first appearance of the Hungry Tiger, who somehow manages to be both terribly menacing and rather sweet all at the same time. (And having been close to a hungry tiger once - don't worry, I was shooting video during feeding time at the circus - let me assure you, it's not a beast you'd want to confront - and Young captures that here.)

Once again: this is a terrific series, creative and original while staying true to the Oz books. Highly recommended!

Grade: A


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