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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Oz-Wonderland Wars 1 - Captain Carrot begins

Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo-Crew make a return in a three issue miniseries, Oz-Wonderland Wars, which launched with the Jan 86 issue. Each of the three issues is double sized, and it's readily apparent this was actually intended to be a six issue series, and that each volume contains two of the intended stories. E Nelson Bridwell and Joey Cavalieri script, with art by Carol Lay.  And yes, the title is Oz-Wonderland WarS, even though the covers consistently call the book THE Oz-Wonderland WaR.

The story begins as the Cheshire Cat shows up in Roger Rabbit's office, informing him that he has been sent to get help for the land of Oz. Oz neighbours Wonderland, and both are being menaced by an evil king, Roquat, who has taken the throne of Oz from Princess Ozma, who has disappeared. Some other Oz characters have vanished as well, and most of the plot entails finding them and turning them back into the familiar characters.

Or at least sort of familiar. The Wonderland characters, drawn from both that and Looking Glass, are based on the Tenniel illustrations, and the Wizard of Oz characters are also based on the pictures that accompanied Baum's novel, not the ones from the movie. That's a bit of a shame, as the movie characters are far better known. As well, this series draws from many of the Oz books. I only know the first one, so while I vaguely know of characters such as Tik Tok and Ozma, I don't know them well enough to appreciate their use here.

Carrot and friends start off their quest by finding the Cowardly Lion and turning him back into himself.

Dorothy Gale shows up midway in the issue, looking nothing at all like Judy Garland. I almost think it would have been better to have left her out. Oh, and I need to mention that, unlike what the title conveys, this is not about Wonderland and Oz going to war with each other. That might have made for a more interesting story. Or at least a less formulaic one.

There is a definite effort to engage the characters from the Zoo Crew with the guest stars. Little Cheese and the Queen of Mice (from some Oz book) have a touch of romance, but ultimately decide they are too different from each other.

The Scarecrow is the second character rescued from Roquat's transformation, which leaves the villain seething with rage as the first issue ends.

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