Escape From Wonderland #2 (of 6) (Zenescope – Gregory / Leister / Ruffino / Crank!)
As Calie treks through the ever-changing Wonderland terrain she comes face to face with a monstrous creature that may have deeper ties to her past than she realizes. Calie must find a way to reach out to the being in order for her to find her infant daughter. Meanwhile, Johnny finds he does not see eye to eye with the one calling the shots as a rift begins to develop between he and the Jabberwocky.
So, Calie is ready to go for the straight forward attack strategy. Move quick, move strong, get the kid, get out. Unfortunately, the present administration of Wonderland is not down with her plan and is ready for her. Thankfully though Calie finds an ally in the most unlikely of places.
A dark wraith-like creature takes up at Calie’s side helping her tackle the landscape of Wonderland. With his help they get past a beastie or two. He helps patch up her wounds. It is very clear that he has some vested interest in her succeeding but the reason has yet to revealed. Perhaps he is one of her ancestors that was trapped here from generations before, maybe this is one of the dozen or so peripheral characters that have been sucked behind the mirror from the previous series or one-shots… I wouldn’t put money on a guess right now, but the “mysterious guide” arch-type certainly does add to the story and allows someone for Calie’s blind anger and drive to bounce off of. The issue ends with the two of them going to confront the Jabberwocky. To get there, the couple passes through what can only be described as a Lovecraftian scene… tentacles draping down from the heavens, feelings of madness and bleak depression. And right after that they deal with a “those aren’t rocks, they’re eggs!” scene right out of the “Alien” Mythology. It makes me wonder what Raven Gregory has up his sleeves for the closure of this series.
Not to say that I don’t normally enjoy it, but it was a treat that this issue was much more action/adventure and less horror / eye candy. Regardless of what the gorgeous cover shows, the issue focuses more on Calie’s quest and less on her outfits or how bizarre a death scene it is. Don’t get me wrong, Daniel Leister is incredible at what he does – making horror/action amazingly beautiful – but I think because I wasn’t distracted by scantily-clad splash pages, I was able to really take in his work on scenery, background and the frame to frame details. An issue like this shows that Leister’s talent is universal, regardless of subject.
Overall, a very solid issue and a decent step furthering us towards what we hope will be an end to the centuries-old curse of Wonderland.
Issue Grade: A-