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REVIEW: Wonderland Annual #3

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REVIEW: Wonderland Annual #3

3.83/5.0 Stars
Rating if the Book Were a Movie: R

Creative Team:

Story: Dave Franchini, David Wohl, and Raven Gregory
Writer: Raven Gregory
Artists: Oliver Borges, Massimiliano La Manno, Giuliano Pellegrini, Allan Otero
Colors: Robby Bevard
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Mike Krome and Nei Ruffino
Editor: Dave Franchini and David Wohl
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment 

Ratings:

Story: 3.9 Stars
Artwork: 4.0 Stars
Cover Artwork: 4.0 Stars
Dialogue: 3.8 Stars
Mechanics: 3.6 Stars
Editing: 3.7 Stars 

About the Book:

Years ago Calie Liddle’s mother, Alice, went down the rabbit hole and found herself in the enchanted, evil world that is Wonderland. Eventually Alice made it back to our world; but not without taking a piece of Wonderland with her. As time has gone by Wonderland has played a significant part in Calie’s life as well as her daughter, Violet. It has put them in danger many times.

Now, with the help of the White Rabbit, younger generations of Liddles have the chance to stop Wonderland’s evil at the source. They will go back in time to when Charles Dodgson began sacrificing children to this evil kingdom and try to put a stop to it for once and for all.

Reader’s Notes:

I first became familiar with Mr. Gregory’s writing in 2020 when I read the first issue of Se7en. His ability to give so much depth to a character that never spoke or moved in the motion picture was staggering. I was eager for more of this kind of writing.

When I learned Mr. Gregory was involved with Wonderland, I was happy to check it out. What an experience it was coming into this universe! This version gives us a much better plot than the one we got from the mouse. It’s also much darker, which I was okay with.

A lot of other people were okay with it, as well. The reading order for Wonderland is now over 20 trade paperbacks long. Fans can’t get enough of Calie and her interesting interactions in multiple dimensions. She doesn’t pull punches or take prisoners. That’s what makes her so great.

On the very first Wonderland Annual #3 the creative team comes out swinging. They deliver hit after hit while taking the reader on amazing adventures through time and a parallel universe. Every time the reader gets comfortable we change speeds and directions.

I love the idea of multiple artists doing the line work for the interior pages. Doing so helps the reader understand how perspectives can change when dealing with mental illness. I don’t know if that was the original intention, but the result is a nice touch.

Of the three covers that were available for this issue, this is my personal favorite. It’s edgier. It’s more in line with what I’ve come to expect from Zenescope. Seeing Calie and the Cheshire Cat together offers the promise of some thrilling action.

Full disclosure. There is a lot of history in this series. To a degree it reads like you are expected to be current on the events that have taken place in the series. I would suggest waiting until after you have read, at a minimum, Return to Wonderland, Beyond Wonderland, and Escape from Wonderland before diving into this one.

If you’re not that far along, there’s a possibility that you will struggle to understand everything that has taken place so far. It’s like watching Lord of the Rings and coming in when Frodo and Gollum are fighting inside of Mount Doom. You can tell some stuff has gone down; but you’re not entirely sure what led up to this moment and why it’s so important.

If you’re up to speed on everything that has happened with the Liddles, this geek on a budget believes that you are in for a treat. The book does have a slightly higher price tag than most of its contemporaries. However, you’ll see where your money went. For starters, you’re getting 64 pages of content. That’s more than double what you get in most comics. When you throw in outstanding artwork from an all star team and terrific writing it’s hard to pass this one up.

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I grew up loving all things geek. I started reading and collecting comics when I was 8. My personal collection has roughly 8,000 books in it. When I’m not doing something geek-related I love spending time with my amazing wife and kids, gaming, and working on cross stitch projects.

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