Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Escape from Wonderland

The Wonderland series is always one of those series that I look forward to with Zenescope. It's a twisted version of the beloved Alice in Wonderland stories. Escape from Wonderland is the 3rd series of Wonderland, so I suggest reading Return to Wonderland first and Beyond Wonderland afterwards.

Callie Liddle is on a quest to take back her baby from the Mad Hatter. She has arrived in Wonderland with a vengeance ready to take down anyone who interferes. Once there she comes across the Red Queen who gives her directions on where to find her child. Continuing her journey to find her daughter she comes across the carpenter. She remembers that during her first visit to Wonderland she had to fight the carpenter. This time things are different. Callie feels this force within her making her a tough opponent in battle. The carpenter is taken out easily and Callie continues through the forest. In the forest she encounters a giant monster. Luckily for her a lizard man is able to save the day and rescue her from near death. Somehow Callie gets the feeling she should trust this lizard person. He flies her to where the Jabberwocky lives, but it seems the journey to get there has been too easy. In the Jabberwocky's lair they come across giant killer worm. They become overwhelmed and the lizard man tells her to go and find her baby. Callie enters a hallway full of mirrors that show memories of her past and fake dreams. She snaps out of the reverie breaking the mirror. Behind the mirror she finds her baby Violet, however their reunion falls short. The Cheshire cat and his friend Lina attempt to attack Callie. Callie throws her sword onto loose rocks atop of the the cave. The rocks tumble down crushing Lina the only friend the Cheshire cat had. Callie makes it to the magic mirror that will teleport her back to the real world. She can't believe what she sees before her eyes! Her mother is right in front of her alive! Her mother tells her to go quickly through the mirror before the Mad Hatter can stop her. Into the mirror she went and in the real world her mother is alive again! It seems to good to be true for Callie. Her mother, father, and boyfriend are alive too. Johnny, her brother, is no longer the Mad Hatter now. Callie soon realizes this is all an illusion from the Jabberwocky and breaks free. Callie is ready to confront the Jabberwocky and end the madness. It looks like Callie is about to be defeated by the Jabberwocky, but lizard man comes and slices him. Lizard man dies in the arms of Callie, revealing himself to be her boyfriend Brandon. Meanwhile Grandpa Liddle is trying to convince the Mad Hatter to stop the Jabberwocky. When that doesn't work, the grandfather tells the Mad Hatter that he is nothing. The Mad Hatter then stabs him breaking the curse of Wonderland. However the battle is not over, the Mad Hatter wants his revenge. Callie takes the Mad Hatter with her through the portal. Even though the Mad Hatter is in the real world now, he hasn't returned back as Johnny Liddle. He is still the deranged killer that he was in Wonderland. Callie ultimately got the best of him and defeated him. A montage of all the moments Callie and Johnny shared together showed as he lay dying.The story ends with a grown up Violet and older Callie by Alice's gravestone. Callie weighs her options on whether she should tell Violet about Wonderland, and decides that some secrets are better left untold.

When Callie first stumbled upon Wonderland she was weak physically and mentally. I loved seeing her character evolve in the series. She became a determined woman willing to sacrifice anything to find her daughter. Even more awesome was the fact she discovered her physical strength coming back to Wonderland.

I liked how Escape from Wonderland closed up a lot of loose ends. I always wondered what happened to Brandon. When the lizard man helped Callie I had a feeling that he might be Brandon. As soon as he mentioned Violet's name I definitely knew it was him. I felt devastated when he died. I wanted Callie to have her happy ending with him. She at least deserved that.

One thing that I wanted to see more of was the Cheshire cat, Red Queen, and the King of Hearts. Their appearances in Escape from Wonderland were so short. It kind of had me craving more of their characters in the story.

A part of me wished that Johnny (Mad Hatter) hadn't die. I wanted him and Callie to repair their relationship. Sadly Wonderland changed him for the worst. Callie did what was necessary and killed him.

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