As I said in my review of Grimm Fairy Tales #101, I wasn’t familiar with this universe of characters at all. But like GFT #101, Zenoscope is pushing Wonderland #26 as a good jumping on point, so I jumped on. I believe they’re meant to be read at the same time, as the character Violet Liddle appears in both, but no explicit mention of the characters in the other book (and thus the other part of the universe) is made. Apparently the backstory on Wonderland is that Callie Liddle (Violet’s mother) defeated the Queen of Spades and is now in charge of Wonderland with the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat as her allies. The Liddle family has apparently had issues with Wonderland in general, and Callie isn’t overly fond of the place, but she seems to be the type who accepts the responsibilities that are thrust on her.
The denizens of Wonderland, other than Callie, are what you would expect if you’re at all familiar with the story of Alice in Wonderland. Most are not bright, and a few border on manic or insane. However, there are some surprises, most notably the Cheshire Cat. This is not some little house cat with a big smile; Cheshire resembles Battle Cat from He-Man, and judging by the reaction a little girl has to him when they are touring the countryside, Cheshires are the resident boogeymen of Wonderland. But there’s something worse lurking out in the forest, and Callie, Cheshire, and the White Rabbit go off in search of it. Is it related to something that’s taken residence in an abandoned house in the human realm? There’s no way of telling yet, but my guess is yes.
The artwork in Wonderland has a slightly rougher feel than Grimm Fairy Tales, which I think suits the crazy, edgy feel of Wonderland and the story that’s being told. I love Cheshire as a sort of saber-toothed tiger, and how Callie’s entire look shifts when she goes from the ordinary world to Wonderland. All of this helps to set up a story that I want more of. I could use a little more explanation about how Wonderland ties in with the other realms, since Violet obviously crosses between them, but even so Wonderland #26 gets 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts from me.
Writer: Erica J. Heflin
Artist: Vincenzo Riccardi
Colors: Ben Sawyer
Letters: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 8/14/14