Immediately, any version of the story of Dorothy and Toto is going to be subject to some pretty substantial baggage, whether the comparisons are drawn to "Wicked" or "The Wiz" or even the holiday television staple starring Judy Garland, 1939's "The Wizard of Oz". This version, however, tries to leave that baggage behind as the source material for the series is the original novel from Frank L. Baum.
Shanower and Young have nothing but love for this concept and the characters therein. That love translates to the printed page rather nicely, as this issue is dense, but not overwhelming. This is not a ten minute read-and-forget. That said, the duo bring some pieces of Oz to light that many a reader may not be familiar with nor remember exactly. We get a full rundown of the four witches and their personalities, and we even get to spend some time with Dorothy among the Munchkins.
The visuals on the book are simply kinetic. Young brings his overly cartoonish expressionistic style here to a great fit for his work –- as though he has found the assignment of his lifetime and seeks to pump his own life into it. His characters are bouncy and engaging and the colors make the story live even moreso. As I told my wife when I brought the book home, the colors on the Young version of the cover, with their retro-comic-screenprint-dot-matrix feel, is how I mentally envision books I read.
Personally, after this book made the rounds at the Zawisza household, I have no doubt about whether or not pursuant issues will be coming home (even at that lofty $3.99 price point), but I am anxiously awaiting a collected edition with more durability so I can re-read this love-letter to Frank L. Baum again and again without having to wait months in between.
Issue #2 will be out soon enough, but in the meantime, check out My Spacing Comics right here on CBR to catch up with Skottie Young.