What can I say? Everything about Marvel’s Road to Oz series just gives me the warm fuzzies. Adapted by Eric Shanower from L. Frank Baum’s 1909 novel, “Road to Oz: In Which is Related How Dorothy Gale of Kansas, The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome the Rainbow’s Daughter Met on an Enchanted Road and Followed it All the Way to the Marvelous Land of Oz,” and drawn and colored by Skottie Young and Jean Francois Beaulieu, respectively, this six-issue series is sweet, light-hearted, and pretty dang adorable. On those days when you simply cannot handle an exhausting plotline involving heavily damaged characters in life-threatening situations, this is the story you are going to want to pick up.
When dusty Kansas roads suddenly turn into magic highways, it’s a safe bet that one of them is the road to Oz, but which one? * Dorothy’s off on another fantastic adventure, and Toto is back, too. * This time their companions are strange—an old homeless guy with a magic magnet and a mentally-challenged child named Button-Bright.
At the end of issue #3, we leave Dorothy and her companions in the hands of the head-throwing Scoodlers, about to be made into soup, so we can assume that the next issue, approaching fast on January 2nd, will begin with their daring escape plan. What’s lovely about an Oz story is that you know everything is going to work out. There’s no worrying involved; you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. And there is plenty, in the way of scenery, to enjoy.
The whimsical art style is a perfect fit for this childhood favorite. Young adds a certain measure of freshness to the Land of Oz that we already know, providing a magical blend of nostalgia and modernity. At some points, I find myself just looking at the pictures. I mean, you can kind of figure it out by looking at the pictures, since the story naturally consists of Dorothy walking down one road and running into things. However, the dialogue is a treat in itself. You don’t want to miss such irrational banter between such oddball characters.
Issues #4 and #5 will be released in January and February. Before you get your hands on this series, you might also consider reading the entire story in its intended order. Marvel has released adaptions of more of L. Frank Baum’s original Oz books, including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. Or you can start here. What’s awesome about this series is that it could stand alone, given you know who Dorothy is and that you understand the considerably curious nature of Oz.