Review - Wonderland #1

Wonderland isn't all it's cracked up to be. Genocidal queens, insane cats and equally mad tea party hosts. It's not as wonderful as you would hope. Calie Lidle found that out the hard way and now--having escaped the horrors of that funhouse--returns in an all-new, ongoing series from Zenescope, starting with Wonderland #1.

The first issue is written by Raven Gregory, with pencils by V Ken Marion, colors by Thomas Bonvillain and letters by Jim Campbell.

The issue is a story on three fronts. The first is that of Sammy, an abusive father, a drug-addled mother and a dilapidated hat. The second is that of Calie and her daughter Violet, on the run from an unnamed entity. The third (and shortest) of the three storylines is the Queen of Spades and her desire to rule Wonderland unchecked.

All three storylines share one thing in common: Wonderland. As of now, that's about all they share, but it's a good bet that roads will converge sooner than later and readers will see Sammy interacting with Calie and Violet as well as the Queen of Spades.

Gregory is in very familiar territory here, having been the architect of most of the GFT universe. He approaches this issue as primarily a set-up issue. It's clear Wonderland isn't as dead as damaged as previously thought and Calie will likely get dragged back in.

Zenescope has gone to great lengths to create this complex universe, which is both good and bad. Good because there's continuity, but bad because in this first issue there were references to three other different books. The introduction even mentions where the events occur in the Zenescope timeline. It's helpful to get a handle on things, but a little tough for new readers not as steeped in Zenescope lore.

Marion's pencils are solid, accompanied by washed colors from Bonvillain. The Wonderland scenes look the best, while some of Sammy's scenes are a little graphic. There are some interesting panel layouts as well that provide the sense of being fractured only Wonderland can provide.

This is the first issue in an ongoing series for Zenescope and right now there are three main players: Sammy, Calie and the Queen of Spades. Again, it's probable their paths will cross at some point, but for now you'll just have settle for the idea their paths will cross.

Wonderland #1 should be in stores July 18.