GFT presents WONDERLAND #37
“Retribution”, pt. 1 (22 pages)
Writer: Erica J. Heflin
Artwork: Marc Rosete
Colors: Leonardo Paciarotti
Letters: Christy Sawyer
Covers by: Jason Metcalf & Wes Hartman; Meguro; Shannon Maer
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Lewis Carroll’s children classic with the most twisted twist!! I’ve seen many a title from Zenescope over its entire existence but never felt compelled to crack open one of their selections. I know they are infamous for racy covers and GOGA but that still wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity. The founders must be feminists (like me) because all of their female characters are bad-ass. I’d be afraid to piss off any of them. They also appreciate their fine form since they’re all ultra-attractive, curvaceous, and well-endowed. This extends beyond the all-beauty-no-brains conceit. I felt the time had come to peer through the looking glass [natch!] and examine this radical departure from the original story.
Calie reconnects with her friend Drew. They chit-chat over coffee and delve a bit into their familial lives. Calie is a widow with an eighteen-year-old daughter. Drew is floored that she doesn’t look her age. I second that!! He is going through a divorce and has a six-year-old son who is the apple of his eye. A white rabbit randomly appears. Make that, deliberately. Calie plays it cool and picks him up. She offers to take it to the pet shelter. Thanking Drew, she walks away and chastises the cute bunny for intruding on her.
Red Rabbit and Terror walk through the Graveyard of Gods. They are on their way to visit the Ace of Spades who controls all aspects of time. Terror is not much of a conversationalist and wishes Red would be the same. Red feels perturbed at Ace’s current lodgings. He feels it’s the worst of the bunch. He pulls out his pocket watch for comfort. Ace’s minions espy the visitors and wish to feed on them. Ace arrives and quiets his minions. He instructs the two to not kill Alice just yet. He wants to see her ultimately fail all the people she cares about. The Blacksmith fastens the En Passant to Terror’s neck. When the mission is complete, they will report back.
Squire is on the grounds of the White Queen’s castle. She is seeking an audience. Dark Cheshire pounces on her. He thinks she is an ally of Terror. She dodges and parries. Ches leaves a parting gift on her face. She is about to cut him open when he informs her that Terror broke out of his cell. With the artifact in his possession, he can nullify the powers of every creature in Wonderland. Squire drops her sword andsurrenders.
Jack of Hearts (One-Eyed Jack) and White Queen attempt to discern the breakout. He is dumbfounded that his best guards couldn’t detect anything. She realizes that an outsider assisted the monster. Calie curses herself for not slaying Terror when she had the chance. She needs to speak to Squire. Her prisoner is less than cooperative. Calie gives her an ultimatum: either she help and experience a swift execution or Cheshire will tear her to shreds.
Drew is listless in his apartment. He’s bored out of his skull. A text message breaks the ennui. It’s an image of his ex-wife and son as captives. He barely has time to register the horror when Terror barges in and transports him to his loved ones. Drew will be reunited with them but unable to escape the nightmare.
K.I.S.S.: Calie meets Drew at Cap’n Coffee on Earth. That’s it. Could be anywhere in the U.S. but that’s anyone’s guess.
4th Dimension discourse: “For the rest of us, time is the Almighty. […] Time is outside our control. Time is a thing of nightmares. […] Time is a predictable beast. It moves forward, cause to effect to cause. With it, we can control the actions of others.” – Terror
Back up: “Tok, tik.” – Red Rabbit. Whether this is the correct way is beyond me!
Lexicon: flense – it means “to strip off blubber or skin”. Ouch! Ace’s minions are super cruel.
Pardon?!? ‘en passant’ literally means “while passing”.
Re-arrange: I just figured this out!! Calie is an anagram of Alice :0 She is her daughter, after all.
Erica J. Heflin is a recent veteran at Zenescope. She has been on this title for one whole year. More impressively, she is the EIC of GrayHaven Comics. The things I’ve learned!! She certainly maintains the model of female empowerment. Calie, like any other heroine, has a lot of weight on her shoulders. As the White Queen, she can never be entirely free of the burden placed upon her monarchal status. In either form, she has empathy as well as genuine concern for others. Squire is a real spitfire. She will fight until her dying breath. She may be unnamed but she is fiercely courageous against Dark Cheshire and utterly defiant towards the regent of Wonderland. Her quietness could be interpreted as assent. She is the prime example of the strong, silent type. Thus, I’m a bit intrigued why she isn’t forthcoming regarding the Terror’s escape and whether she’s an accomplice. Drew is relegated to loser status feeling crestfallen at his impending divorce. He is even more powerless once he is shown the status of his loved ones.
Marc Rosete is not on any comic book database o_0 However, he is a major presence on deviantART. I dare generalize that he sticks with the formula associated with Zenescope – fit and the envy of everyone. Calie is attractive without rising to temptress level. Her White Queen personage is more reserved (as royalty should be). She embodies the strong, silent type. Squire is not to be messed with! Her battle-honed skills are her best feature. The creatures of Wonderland are fear-worthy.
Leonardo Paciarotti fills in the dark outlines in a rich manner. All the colours are heavily layered adding a palpable feel to the illustrations.
This won’t be the last of my many firsts. I pat myself on the back for venturing into other realms [no pun intended!] I’m a huge fan of ONCE UPON A TIME. Thus, browsing through this book has my mind replaying various scenarios and imagining umpteen interpretations across the pop culture spectrum. Congrats to Zenescope’s 10th anniversary this year!! Keep these head-turners comin’!! Despite the mild curiosity, I’m not invested enough to continue.
Acknowledging the mythos established by Mr. Carroll’s sequel and its theme as well as the metaphors mentioned in this new storyline, I give this book 38.4 out of 60 squares on the chessboard (64%).