By Scott Shanower (Writer), Scottie Young (Art), and Jean-Francois Beaulieu (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: The first chapter of Marvel’s adaptation of the children’s classic left quite an impression on me, especially since I wasn’t exactly expecting much from it. Sure, I knew the art would look nice, thanks to the free sketchbook that was released, but I still found myself caught off guard by the incredibly high quality of the final product. The gorgeous artwork and whimsical storytelling came together in what can only be called a perfect harmony. And while I know how the story goes, I still can’t wait to see what happens next.

The Story: Dorothy’s trip along the Yellow Brick Road gets a bit more lively as she encounters a tin man wishing for a heart and a cowardly lion in need of some courage. As a result, the second chapter of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is largely driven by short origin tales, and melancholic ruminations about the nature of life. It all makes for a pretty dense read when compared to the first issue.

What’s Good: Simply put, the creative team continues to knock this adaptation completely out of the park. And best of all, the second issue of the series actually manages to build upon the incredibly impressive foundation laid down in the first, making the art even more impressive, the writing much stronger, and the overall feel of the comic more satisfying. I really couldn’t be much happier with how the whole project is coming together.

What’s Not So Good: My only complaint about the issue is something of a strange one. I absolutely love how Scott Shanower’s script is given more time to shine throughout this issue. He successfully handles the narrative and themes of the story in a way that really displays how the classic tale can appeal to people of all ages through an ingenious mix of simplistic ideas and complex, weighty themes. The downside to that is that occasionally the artwork feels almost overwhelmed by the amount of text-boxes throughout the book. And the artwork absolutely, in every way, needs to be seen, enjoyed, and savored.

Conclusion: Considering that the text-box issue is something of a necessary evil, it doesn’t really weigh a whole lot on my overall enjoyment of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #2. The comic simply rocks in every way. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It’s a perfect example of why the comic medium can be such a fantastic thing.

Grade: A-

-Kyle Posluszny