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Review - Wonderland Annual: Reign of Madness
From Zenescope Entertainment this week is a new annual, with Wonderland being the setting for the Reign of Madness.
Hundreds of years before the Liddles ever stepped foot there, and long before it was destined for its inescapable chaos and insanity, there was Wonderland, the realm of dreams. It was a peaceful land of hope and imagination, but under its surface grew a darkness waiting to spread its tendrils into all that was.
As it was finally released, the evil seeped out into this extraordinary world pulling two sisters into the center of its plot to bring madness to all it would touch, turning all those it corrupted into nightmares of their former selves. A war has been building for the very soul of this realm, and madness aims to reign over all that resides there. But can the hopes of a few and the love of a sister keep the evil at bay and fight what is destined to be?
Writer: Dave Franchini & David Wohl
Eman Casallos, Ismael Canales, Juan Francisco Mota, Allan Otero, Maxflan Araujo & Walter Pereyra
Using the annual format to look at the history of Wonderland (and possibly the future) is a good idea.
Taking us back is a good idea. It gives the opportunity for established readers to gain some more insight, as well as new readers who may just be picking it up to enjoy something new.
What we do get is two sisters at war. One has been infected by the madness of Wonderland, and its avatar and the other is fighting against that. It's well-told as we get to grips with both sisters armies and methods. There are some brutal parts too, with spies being discovered.
The mix between the two sisters is expanded on well, with flashbacks to their childhoods as we work out what causes all this mayhem, madness and death.
There are some interesting scenes, as the flashbacks are slightly washed out and tell this side of the story well, leading to someone who is recognisable for older readers. I like the build in this aspect though - it's something expected though.
The battle lines are drawn well though and we meet on the battlefield. The heroes work well, and there are some chilling parts - especially with the Dodo.
I enjoyed this issue and the larger size allows some decompressed storytelling, possibly with something for the future too.
You can get Wonderland Annual: Reign of Madness from Zenescope Entertainment in print from your local comic shop and digitally too.