"Escape from Wonderland" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Originally Published as Escape from Wonderland #0 - 6
Written by Raven Gregory
Illustrated by Daniel Leister, Anthony Spay, Dave Hoover, Eric J, Mike Debalfo and Andrew Mangum
2011, 199 Pages
Trade Paperback released on May 17th, 2011
Most people will tell you that jumping into a trilogy with the final volume is a bad idea. Most people are right. However, when it's something like Escape from Wonderland, I think it's OK. Author Raven Gregory has composed three stories that flow into each other with Escape being the finale. But does it provide its characters with a Happily Ever After that they so desperately seek?
Escape From Wonderland follows Carroll Liddle, the daughter of the famed titular character from Alice in Wonderland. Her family has been through some hard times in the past few years. Her mother was driven mad and killed herself. Her brother Johnny killed their father and went crazy, forcing Carroll to send him to Wonderland in hopes of healing him. Oh, and her daughter, Violet, has been kidnapped by Johnny and taken through the Looking Glass. Now Carroll is pissed and she's going to kick some ass.
This alternate take on Alice in Wonderland is incredibly interesting. It's a mature and bloody rendition with Carroll assuming the guise of a leather-clad brunette with a literal axe to grind. Meanwhile, Johnny (aka the Mad Hatter) gives his niece to the Jabberwocky who is looking to break into our world. All kinds of demons and creatures stand between Carroll and her daughter and she's ready to chop her way through all of them if it means getting her kid back.
While this is the third and final volume of the Wonderland series, I was able to jump into it without any trouble. Gregory does a great job dropping bits and pieces of information along the way to fill new readers in on the back story. This was refreshing as most comics today are ripe with continuity, forcing you to sift through dozens, it not hundreds, of back issues to understand the story that's going on now.
Daniel Leister illustrates this collection and he just kills it. The babes are beautiful. The monsters are terrifying. The action is fast-paced and bloody. Seriously, his Chesire Cat is going to give me nightmares. Leister is occasionally helped out by a few other pencilers but for the most part, they aren't as talented. The change in styles does advance the storyline as one of the chapters shows some alternate endings to the final battle so each artist gets a different angle.
Escape from Wonderland is a story of betrayal, family, and acceptance. Mostly, though, it's a story about a girl kicking all sorts of ass while wearing leather pants to save her baby. I'm glad that I was able to get into the story without having to read the previous volumes, but if this is any indication of the quality of the Wonderland series, I'm going to be searching them out soon.