Issue by Issue – Oz #2

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

The second issue of Oz begins with mayhem as the Munchkins have caught up with Mary and now she stands with Jack Pumpkinhead who has entered the picture. He warns the Munchkins to leave and yet, the bounty that is on Jack’s head is too much to pass up. Suffice it to say, the fight is fast and it is furious but one cannot introduce a character as they did and then have him lose which is why Jack wraps things up, quite literally. It is at this point in time that Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith also slip in a little bit of information which is sure to play a part in the larger story, that of Jack being a member of a band of Freedom Fighters. Who else might be in this band and how many do they number? With questions arising, the story continues on its way as Jack takes off, continuing on his task and Mary does not want to stand around waiting for whatever other trouble might come her way and so runs after him. Elsewhere, Peter and Kevin along with Max the dog start to track Mary down and run into a little trouble of their own in the form of a Kalidah – a half-tiger/half-bear and it means to kill them. For a few moments, it seems like the Kalidah will do just that and yet, somehow, with a little help from Max and with more than a little luck, they manage to kill the beast. As they continue on, they reach a village that is all but abandoned and while they take shelter, they find an old man who tells them where they are and what is going on. To say they are surprised to learn that they are in Oz is putting it lightly and it is here that even more revelations are made such as the Nome King who has come to power and of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman who is not at all like anyone remembers. It is also learned that Dorothy and the Wizard have not been seen in quite some time though given that this is the land of Oz, they are sure to return at some point in time. Griffith and Kerr do a great job at expanding their world, this new status quo for Oz and one can see that things are not as rosy as they once were and that surviving here is going to be harder than one might expect. The characterization is solid, the characters themselves are interesting and the story is captivating. Factor in some very good artwork from Bill Bryan and this book continues to be a very good read.

3.5 out of 5

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