Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz is yet another re-imagining of a classic fairy tale from the people who have brought us Wonderland and the fairy tale superheroes of The Realm Knights. Since I really enjoyed those two series, I decided to snatch this one up and keep my fingers crossed that Joe Brusha could make some magic in Oz. And while he does his best to take the classic Wizard of Oz story, setting, and characters, stuff them all in a blender and pour out something with a whole new flavor, Mr. Brusha fails to fully deliver in this collection.
The beginning of our story is basically the same setup we have all heard before: Dorothy Gale lives on a farm, gets sucked into Oz by a tornado and accidently kills one of the wicked witches with her house. However, from there the story changes, as there are no magic slippers or need to follow the yellow brick road to see the “wizard.” Nope, here Dorothy has fallen into a war between the good witches and the bad, which she immediately becomes sucked into, and once firmly entrenched on the side of the good witch Glinda, Dorothy never looks back but follows a course that leads to a journey around Oz, a few fights with the wicked witch, picking up a number of familiar friends, and eventually returning to Kansas. All in all, not that much different from the classic story.
Well, to be fair, there are differences in this graphic novel. Dorothy’s friends are changed in numerous ways. Some of them for the better. Some for the worst. Most of it is in their back story, but a lot of it is their looks, which – while interesting to view – did little to make the characters more engaging. Honestly, I really could not see that the Grimm Fairy Tale versions of Dorothy’s friends grew and changed much at all in this story. At the end, they are basically the same people as when Dorothy first encounters them.
And you know, I’m sorry I even mentioned the ending, because I really do not even wish to think about it anymore. Let us just say it was abrupt and not very well done and leave it at that. If I explained further, I would be keeping you from experiencing the frustration of it all.
As for the artwork in Oz, I can’t complain. It is very serviceable and fits the mood and tone of the book as a whole. I’ve read other reviewers criticizing the lack of clothing on the female characters, and while I generally don’t mind seeing scantily clad women, I have to agree with the criticism here. Dorothy and the wicked witches’ clothes (or lack thereof) were really over-the-top and somewhat silly. Honestly, if you were Dorothy and you were going into battle, would you be wearing a miniskirt and a mid-drift shirt? Probably not, and it would have helped the story if she had armor on and reverted to her sexy outfit later. Walter Geovanni does this all the time on Red Sonja, and it never disrupts the story.
Overall, I mildly enjoyed this graphic novel – though not as much as I have other Grimm Fairy Tale stories. The artwork was well done and more than capably moved the story along, and even if the story was the same old Oz, at least the re-imagination of Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion were inventive touches. I doubt I’ll be going out to buy this one, but it was still well worth a read. Give it a try.
Netgalley provided this book to me for free in return for an honest review. The review above was not paid for or influenced in any way by any person, entity or organization, but is my own personal opinions.