March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Bento Review: Wonderland Clash Of Queens: Age Of Darkness

It's a twisted, sexy version of Wonderland that you probably suspected existed.

Comic Bento’s theme this month is “Girl Power,” and as such, I received a few books with female protagonists.  Now, I’m not sure how “feminist” I would call these characters.  We’ll see as we go.  As it is, I received five books and the included post card only listed four.

Therefore, I am starting with the extra book since it is from Zenescope, and I’m not much of a fan of their stuff.  This one comes from their Grimm Fairy Tales line, and it’s called Wonderland Clash of Queens: Age of Darkness.

That title is far too long.

So, as near as I can make out, this book is set in Wonderland, AKA Alice in‘s place, but anyone looking for much of the familiar there aside from the Queen of Hearts constantly calling for beheadings and maybe some background characters will probably be disappointed.

As it stands, I read this thinking it was written for someone who knew who these characters were and presumably already cared about them.  Instead, we have the Queens of Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds all running around mostly plotting against each other.  Are any of them, you know, benevolent or sympathetic?  Diamonds and Clubs might be, since the two used to be a couple until Diamonds went insane and refused to acknowledge it.  There’s also a woman in jester’s bells called “the Trickster” who is doing stuff to stir up trouble between the four as they fight over something called the Ebon Blade.

There wasn’t much here to interest me.  I didn’t know which Queens to root for, I didn’t know which characters were important and many that seemed to be so were killed off without a second thought, and I didn’t get a sense for most of the individual Queens who seemed to mostly run around in outfits that lifted boobs and showed a lot of cleavage, which is basically my impression of whatever appeal Zenescope’s books have.  This is the third one Comic Bento has sent me, and I just don’t see anything worth going further with thus far.  There’s a change in writer starting with the third of the five issues reprinted here, with Troy Brownfield replacing Raven Gregory, though Gregory plotted out the entire story with Joe Brusha.  Brownfield’s script made more sense and flowed better, but not enough to earn a recommendation from me.  Manuel Preitano’s artwork seems to fit the company house style.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of most of these people before.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing as an unknown creator can surprise you, but nothing here did.  Five out of ten canon fodder knights.

NEXT BOOK:  Oh, look, something from Aspen Comics.  Maybe this time I’ll like it.  The cover says it was nominated for a Harvey Award.  Be back soon for Damsels in Excess.