Issue by Issue – Oz #1

Writers – Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith
Artist – Bill Bryan
Letters – Susan Dorne

Kevin, Peter, Mary and her dog Max suddenly find themselves as strangers in a strange land. They have no idea how they got there, though they do wonder if it had anything to do with that strange book they opened. As it is, they find themselves under attack by a strange lot of short-statured men who are out for blood and the friends have no idea why. Things do not go well for them and it is here that writers Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith take a pause to jump back into the past a bit to find out how this all came about. Readers see Peter and Kevin arrive back home with a score of golden-age comic books which they hope to turn into a fat wad of cash. Mary is curious as to their haul and in the trunk of goods they acquired, she finds a book with a lock and her curiosity soon becomes contagious. With a little help, they break into the book and discover a tornado within that seems to look as if it is moving somehow and even more strange is the fact that it seems to be getting closer. Thus readers see just how it is these three strangers, four if one includes Max the dog, came to this extraordinary land. As it is, the men get separated from Mary, falling into the Forbidden Fields while she is nearly made into mincemeat until the one and only Jack Pumpkinhead shows up, closing out the first issue of this title. Kerr and Griffith write an intriguing first chapter wrapped in a bit of mystery, the players in this game having no idea that they are in the enchanted land of Oz. Even more interesting is the fact that the Munchkins are as bloodthirsty as they are while Jack Pumpkinhead seems to be some sort of hero figure. Just how this all goes together at the moment is part of that mystery that is being woven but one cannot help but be caught up in it from the first page to the last. Making this all come to life is Bill Bryan whose pencils are dynamic, to say the least, and look good in black and white though one has to wonder just how good they would look in a full-colour book, not that anything is lost in these pages due to the lack of it. For a first issue, this book offered a lot and promises more which is a good thing.

3.5 out of 5

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