Filed under: Comic Reviews, Image Comics | Tags: Angelo Tirotto, Dee, Flying Monkey, Kansas, Lizzie, Richard Jordan, twister, Wicked Witch, Wizard of Oz
Another Image Comics release that drew me in – although not for that issue #1 cover and the flashing going on but it’s premise – a “re-imagining” of the well known Wizard of Oz story…..but much, MUCH darker.
Opening in the small town of Emeraldsville, Kansas as the residents try to survive and then clean-up from a twister (shocker eh?) but a clear first glimpse at the mystery that’s going to unfold. The funeral of her parents following the events of the twister sees Dee return to her home town, a town she left five years previously for a new, exciting life in L.A. After being picked up by her lifelong friend Lizzie we are swept along with Dee as she catches up with the residents of the town she’d left behind. This is where the whole story starts to get deeper and darker as murders start happening as some of the town crazies come out of the woodwork…strangest thing is….that’s not the darkest part.
There’s much more to this as there’s an underlying secret yet to be discovered and we gradually get to learn more and more and that as the body count rises and the strange goings-on get stranger. The flying monkeys start appearing around town and with some pretty brutal attacks coming from them a quest for survival as Dee, Lizzie, the Sheriff and a small group of others tries to fend off these attacks.
The first volume finishes with us seeing Lizzie whisked through to another dimension where flying monkeys make up the population, being ruled by our green-skinned and modern-day take on the wicked witch. A winding plot of shocks and reveals and we smash our way through to the finale in issue #5…..well I say finale because I thought to myself that would be the end of the first arc and I could decide whether to keep this going or not……but even that has been taken out of my hands as the cliffhanger means I’m hooked.
The creative team of Angelo Tirotto (writer) and Richard Jordan (art) bring us a true fresh-take on a story we know and while I never really like the “re-imaging” tag, it’s pretty suitable here. They’ve taken the bare bones of the story and ideas we know and slapped us in the face with it…..or in fact, they’ve sent their flying monkey to do it for them. Strong characters and a serious subtle edge to the reveal of the town secret as the story progresses, proves to be a big draw. Suitably dark artwork gives the secrets a sinister edge which is punctuated by some visceral attacks from our flying monkeys and the old town feel is seeped into the pages in every issue.
A strong first volume that makes sure I’ll be sticking around for the second volume starting in issue #6.
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