Neverland #5 (Zenescope – Brusha / Deshong / Embury)
As Cross plans an assault on Pan’s castle Wendy finds herself forming an uneasy alliance with Tinker Belle. Tink promises to help Wendy find her nephews and escape Pan’s fortress but here jealous streak and allegiance to her master win out. Instead of finding herself free from Pan’s bonds Wendy finds herself in the dark depths of his fortress…where something sinister lurks
This alternative fractured-fairy tale version of Peter Pan continues full steam as this issue fills the readers in on more of the history of Tinkerbell and Pan, where and how Cross (Hook) gets his power and just how much of a jealous tramp a fairy can be! Now if we only knew why Pan is crushing on Wendy, with all of the females of Neverland at his disposal, it can’t simply be he the hots for the “baby-sitter” type… but I’ll bet that is coming!
This issue is jammed-packed with story. No page is wasted and the full Neverland plot is pushed forward. In today’s market when you are buying a comic, you need something that isn’t filler. And so far, Neverland is 0% filler.
Cross finds that if he focuses in, he can modify his hand into a wide array of useful items and weapons, due to the magical nature of Neverland. He also finds out that Neverland and Earth have a rich shared history. As he starts to remember more and more about his own past, his character seems to shift and he seems to be aligning himself into more of the “arch-enemy” ready to destroy Pan. He then launches a straight-in attack including flying pirate ships and hybrid weaponry. Meanwhile inside the castle, Pan demands that Wendy become his queen and uses her brother’s lives as leverage. The broken-hearted and discarded Tinkerbell (the last fairy in all of Neverland) blames Wendy for her own dismissal and Pan’s infatuation on his soon-to-be conquest (sure, blame the victim, not the stalker) and at least seemingly sets out to kill Wendy in a “I’ll pretend to help you escape” plot.
The art is as beautiful as always, but is to my relief is focused much more on the action and emotion of the story and less on the Neverland babes (regardless of what the cover might imply)
Bottom Line: An outstanding action-filled adventure!
Issue Grade: A