Title Series: The Legend of Oz: the Wicked West Series Format: Ongoing, Issue # 3, December 2012 Publisher: Big Dog Ink Writer: Tom Hutchison Artist: Alison Borges Colors: Kate Finnegan Letters: HDE Reviewers: Jesse Brown and Robert McClelland Jesse's Review: So Big Dog Ink has acquired the Wizard of Oz license, let’s see what they can do with it. It appears that they have tried to blend Oz with the wild wild west minus the Will Smith. Interesting, it never occurred to me to think of Oz as a western. Well one thing’s for sure, this ain’t no musical. Admittedly the series has always been “a tough nut to crack”, so to speak, due to its bizarre nature, mishmash of characters, and seemingly dark themes. Therefore, I admire BDI’s effort to reinvent the wheel.
Essentially the stories of Oz play out like an adventure quest or even a crazy road trip series. So who do we have to join us on this hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy? How about talking trees, a rocking horse with a personality, a lion wearing clown makeup, a Pocahontas look a like, mice with tribal wear, war paint, and weapons, people with wheels for hands and feet, and a scarecrow with a bounty on it’s head? Just to name a few. Sound like a regular walk in the park? Yeah, this is gonna get weird.
The truth is Oz has a lot of potential for unique and enjoyable entertainment but requires precise direction that only a real visionary storyteller can pull off. Let’s do this.
Opinion: Sumthin tells me we’re not in Kansas anymore.
For starters, the character dialog was a little bit boring. There were also a few scene that just felt like unnecessary filler, and oddly distracting.
I couldn’t help notice that the artwork was at times difficult to discern. In the back of my mind I kept wondering when the aforementioned scarecrow was going to show up, yet he never did. His absence was odd and really felt like it was missing. After all, why footnote him as a plot point if you’re not going to show it this time?
I hate to say it but there wasn’t nearly enough plot development to be worth a read, and the art although nice, was kinda plain. This issue was just silly and lacking content.
I seriously hope the story picks up as the characters march vaguely south. Oh look a castle, too bad it comes at the very end of the issue.
Robert's Review: We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful, wonderful Wizard of Oz! *ahem* Couldn't resist using that line. Now you might be wondering what exactly it is I'm doing adding some words of my own next to Jesse's. And well, I wanted to add in my own thoughts to this book. One I myself found to my liking. Which some might recall some comments I made about it a few days ago on my Facebook page. And so after talking to Jesse about doing a combo review of sorts. He agreed and boom! Here we go! Much like Jesse, I too have never thought of the Oz world set in a Western. That and I rarely give much thought to it since I've only seen the movie maybe 3 times in life. I like that BDI is willing to try something like this. Much like how Zenescope is doing with a lot of their titles. Its ideas like this being used that is the reason we have the Independent comics that we do. And may that well of Ideas never be dried up. While Jesse seemed confused about the lack of Scarecrow not being around and I myself was as well til I re-read the 'Previously' part a few times.
Which is somewhat understandable considering we are both reading something that's a bit into the story so to speak that we probably wouldn't even realize it. But I believe the Scarecrow is the Native American girl who seems to be pulling a Dogma. Kudos to those who get that reference. When you think about it though, her name and how she looks fits with what BDI is doing with the Wild West theme. Its pretty brilliant. Of course I could be entirely wrong with my theory. And after a slight bit of research I did while writing this, it seems I may not be all that wrong after all. And does anyone think that General chick woke up on the wrong side of the bust one morning? Certainly would explain how she acts. I myself didn't have any issues with the art, and I look forward to seeing more of Alison's work. Along side Tom's writing. In a way, I'm glad this was the first issue of the title I read. Mainly because of what the Tribal Mice do against the Wheelers. Which those guys seriously look creepy on the cover. But that fits them since they aren't exactly good.
And it would more than likely be a huge shame if they wind up dead later in the book. I mean how could you take away such awesomeness!? I am curious about what exactly the Mombi was up too concerning Tip. Although with his explanation, it really couldn't have been anything good. In the end, I honestly found myself wanting to read more of this book from BDI. As with what the Tribal Mice did at one point to the Wheelers, that scene was possibly the best bit of action and creativity I've read in a good while. Although I certainly wouldn't be all that willing to eat apples from a talking tree that's a bit devious. So if you have yet to read this title whether its issue 3 or the beginning. You are really missing out! So head on over to the Big Dog Ink website to pick up yourself a copy of issue 3, the beginning, or even any other title of theirs! As creativity really does seem to be a strong point for them. And that's always a good thing! 4 out of 5 Stars