Issue by Issue – Oz: Romance in Rags #1

Writer – Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith
Artist – Bill Bryan
Letters – Ken Delane

In a tale set during the early years of the Freedom Fighters coming together, after the Nome King came to power but long before Peter, Kevin and Mary arrived in Oz, Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith along with Bill Bryan would tell a story of the Scarecrow and the woman who loved him. It would begin with Jinjur running into a bit of trouble and being rescued by Amber Ombi and some of the other rebels before they would head back to home base to discuss what they were going to do with the three Evil Kings, those being the Tin Man, Lion and the Scarecrow. Wogglebug is on the warpath and wants them taken out no matter what, no matter how and of them all especially the Scarecrow and all of this despite the protestations of Amber Ombi who has told everyone a million times that their former friends are under the Nome King’s enchantment. Even after telling them yet again, Wogglebug and some of the others will not have it and it distresses Scraps, the Patchwork Girl to no end. This is due to the fact that she is in love with him and she cannot bear to hear everyone talking about the possible harm they wish to do to him. There comes a moment in the conversation where they intend to use the Shaggy Man’s Love Magnet against the Scarecrow, to somehow break through the enchantment and perhaps reach some part within him that is not corrupted in order to defeat him and Scraps loses her cool in spectacular fashion. Later that night, she makes a plan to steal the magnet and head off to find the man she loves and hopefully, maybe, she can make him his old self once again. Kerr and Griffith do not stop there, they also give readers a look at what Scarecrow is doing and it is nothing good as he is preparing to make an army, or at least he is going to force a Munchkin wizard to do it for him with the Powder of Life. The Scarecrow wants to make more like him, to give him a force unrivalled except for that of the Nome King. This is a side of the Scarecrow those in Oz have never experienced before and it is shocking to see much less behold and for those unlucky enough to do so, they wish they were anywhere else but in his presence. Bryan’s pencils are as good as ever, the detail on each page fantastic and each panel as captivating as the story accompanying them. A great start in every way, shape and form.

4.5 out of 5

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