Why am I getting this book? Well…okay, I know why … 1) I’ve always been quite a fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books, and typically, anything related to those books will immediately catch my interest. 2) Look at that cover! It’s a gorgeous painting, and very sexy! This is the sort of wonderland you might hope for in an adult, ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tale’ world. 3) My last foray into this universe (see my review of Volume 2) was kind of fun. Now to volume five.
Well … we’re still in the all-adult Wonderland and the women’s costumes have gotten skimpier and more provocative (is that possible?) — the picture on the cover above is tame compared to what is inside!
Calie (Alice’s daughter) is returning to Wonderland, and the four queens are headed to a big conflict to decide who should be the one and only queen of Wonderland. This volume contains five chapters, which I presume to be five issues of the individual comic book. The first of these chapters reads like a drug-induced trip through the looking glass and makes little-to-no sense to someone who hasn’t read the previous volume.
Chapter picks up on the strangest of stories, and tosses in a piece with a man, who is supposed to resemble James Franco, in a place called “the Void.” This is followed by a brief moment of Calie facing off against a variety of ancient gods, before facing James Franco-looking fellow, while dressed in a BDSM leather outfit full of clasps and laces, while managing to expose plenty of bosom and midriff. Yeah…welcome to Wonderland.
I never really got involved in this story. From the start, I could tell that I was behind. I kind of expect that with an on-going comic series, but I also expect that, if put in book format, I should be able to get caught up on the story (through a liberal use of editor’s notes or some such device). This didn’t happen. But as the story moved past the first chapter, it almost seemed as though I didn’t really need to know anything from the whacked-out experiences in the first couple of chapters anyway. This story really was about the battle for Wonderland. So if I didn’t need it, why was I spending time being confused?
Even the battles became a bit of a mess and I still was never really sure as to what was happening. This book didn’t lose me … it never had me.
The artwork was okay, but not outstanding. At times the art felt very rushed, with little detail and a very flat appearance, while other times pages looked meticulously drawn and inked. And, as I’ve written before, I’m a little tired of the gratuitous display of the exaggerated figures in some of these books. It’s pretty clear who these books are marketed to.
One image, not female, struck me for its similarity to a book cover. I recently read a book called Sideshow (review yet to appear here). That cover looks like this:
Now take a good look at one of the figures in this book, next to this book cover:
It’s just a little creepy that this guy is showing up in multiple books I’ve been reading!
Looking for a good book? Wonderland, Volume 5, fails to capture the reader with either the writing or the art, and unless you’ve been a regular reader, I wouldn’t recommend this book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Wonderland, Volume 5
author: Raven Gregory and Eric M. Esquival
artist: J.G. Miranda
paperback, 148 pages