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The Marvelous Land of Oz - 1st Edition Paperback – April 9, 2010
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The book is pretty much a straight up retelling of the story, which thankfully didn't fall into the what I call DITLOOS, which is "Dorothy In The Land Of Oz Syndrome" where they do a version of Land Of Oz and for no explained reason add Dorothy into the mix. This is apparent in movies like Return To Oz and Journey Back To Oz. Although there seems to be some filling-in-the-blanks of some missing material from the book like more of General Jinjur's dealing with her troops, and Mombi's going to Jinjur for assistance. The treatment of how the characters behaved and moved with the story was also refreshing.
On the art itself, Scottie Young once again outdoes himself. He's brought the layouts and backgrounds of Oz to a much more livelier level, possibly to illustrate that the land is now a little happier since the Wicked Witches got offed. The characters designs for the new characters are fine too, although slightly different. Tip is a young redhead boy with freckles in a standard purple Gillikin outfit. Mombi is also in purple, and looks a little less evil than usual, like a disgruntled Mother Goose. Jack Pumpkinhead has slightly shorter legs and clothes. Jinjur is blonde here, when she's normally shown as a redhead. The Gump's head gives off the appearance of a dog-like creature instead of a moose. Plus, the Wogglebug is a four-legged well-dressed bug that could be easily mistaken for Jiminy Cricket. Ozma looks mostly the same, although she has her more common attire from the rest of the Oz books and not that shown at the end of Land Of Oz. Marvel released this as 8 issues, with 4 covers for issue #1 and 2 for issue #8. It was also recently collected in a single hardcover graphic novel with a cover gallery and character sketches. There will probably be a paperback edition sometime late next year similar to the one they did of WOZ. I'd extremely recommend getting the hardcover though for collector's value, and because its memories will last alot longer.
As the story opens, we meet the young boy Tip, the unhappy but plucky servant of the witch Mombi. Tip borrows some magic from the witch to conjure up Jack Pumpkinhead, a living scarescrow. Tip and Jack will escape from the witch and make their way to the Emerald City, with the aid of a wooden saw horse. There, they find Dorothy's old friend the Scarecrow, King of Oz and about to be overthrown by a mutiny of the females of Oz. The three will flee Oz to seek safety with Scarecrow's old companion the Tin Woodman. Their journey will eventually bring them all back to the Emerald City, where a twist ending will reveal the true ruler of Oz...
"The Marvelous Land of Oz" is very highly recommended as excellent entertainment to readers of all ages.
L. Frank Baum has created a wonderful tale that appeals to the child in us all
The story itself is just what you'd expect from an Oz book -- adventure, wonky characters, like the man made from sticks and a pumpkin -- magic, and a land where even war is pretty much all sweetness and light. This story doesn't involve Dorothy; it's about Ozma's appearance on the scene. Good fun.