Marvelous Land of Oz graphic Novel sticks to the original story.
Marvel adapted L. Frank Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz into a series of comics now collected into a single Graphic Novel. Eric Shanower faithfully retells the tale, which has been adapted many times over the years since Baum first wrote the book in 1905, certainly with a stage show in mind. Shirley Temple starred in a TV version as the lead, the recent series Tin Man borrowed from the concepts, but Shanower simply tells it the way Baum wrote it.
Set shortly after the events in the first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the protagonist is a boy named Tip, who nearly enslaved by a sorcerous (she dare not become a full blown witch or Glinda will come after her) named Mombi. Tip plans to frighten her with a scarecrow he has made out of wood and a pumpkin for a head, naming him Jack Pumpkinhead. Mombi is not fooled, and she takes this opportunity to demonstrate the Powder of Life that she bought from another sorcerer. She sprinkles the powder on Jack, bringing him to life and startling Tip, whom Mombi catches and threatens to turn him to stone in the morning and place him in her garden.
Tip leaves with Jack that night and steals the Powder of Life and they head for the Emerald City. On the way Tip uses the Powder to animate a Sawhorse so Jack can ride him – for even though his wooden body does not tire, his joints are not made well enough to keep hi walking well. Tip loses them as the tireless Sawhorse gallops faster than he can run. In the Emerald City the animated pair meet the Scarecro, now King of Oz, just as General Jinjur’s all-girl Army leads a Revolt. Marching in with the Army, Tip meets again with Jack, the Sawhorse, and now the Scarecrow as they flee the Emerald City in Jinjur’s wake.
They seek help from the Tin Woodman, who now rules the Winkie Kingdom, and plan to retake the Emerald City. On their way back they are diverted by the magic of Mombi (whom Jinjur recruited to help her apprehend them), joined by the Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated Wogglebug, and aided by the Field Mice and their queen. Jinjur and her soldiers are scared by the Field Mice out of the main palace, but they still occupy the Emerald City itself. The Scarecrow proposes manufacturing a flying beast called a Gump by which they can escape through the air. Tip animates this collection of palace furniture with the Powder of Life, and they fly off, with no control over their direction.
Artist Skottie Young draws on images reminiscent of the original artwork in the books drawn by John R. Neill, and with Shanower, creates a fine setting that feels very faithful to the original tale. It’s not a sequel to the Movie, so don’t expect a Technicolor landscape here, the feel is more rustic and comic. The creatures within Oz seem every alien, not humans in weird garb, and in doing facilitate the fantasy. Thus is a safe one to put in front of the kids, but brief them that there is no Dorthy or Toto in this part of the story (they do come back in book three Ozma of Oz).