Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Classics - MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz

Continuing our look at Treasury Editions, this issue is the first-ever joint publication by Marvel and DC!

Apparently both had independently started working on an adaptation of the Oz movie, so they decided to pool their resources and create this adaptation of the beloved film, MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz. (But how did Marvel get away with the obvious plug in the title?)

It was published in 1975, which seems surprising - after all, the movie premiered some 37 years before - but the film was given new life when it became an annual feature on television (this being before the days of home video, of course).

The issue shows little sign of DC's input - it was written by Roy Thomas, drawn by John Buscema and inked by "The Tribe" (I see lots of Tony DeZuniga in there), all Marvel stalwarts.

The oversized comic (both in dimension and in number of pages) is just a pure delight! It's obvious the creative team had great affection for the original film (as should we all), yet the art is not traced from frames of the film.

Buscema captured the feel of the original but never actually copied it - he offered fresh layouts and fine caricatures of the actors.

The story follows the film very closely (which means it wanders away from L. Frank Baum's original book here and there), although as you'd expect, it can't reproduce the music - so they don't really try.

As far as I know, this has never been reprinted, and that's a shame - you'd be hard-pressed to find a more faithful adaptation of that classic film.

It may be hard to find, but it's highly recommended!

Grade: A+


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