Follow the Rainbow: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

GameStop, Inc.

Written By Denton J. Tipton
Art By Blair Shedd
ISBN: 978-1613779057

Cvr Legends of OzWhen The Wizard of Oz passed into the public domain it was only a matter of time before sequels and adaptations hit movie theaters and publishers. Disney celebrated with the CGI eye candy movie Oz, The Great and Terrible. Summertime Entertainment is taking up the great American fairytale with the new animated feature Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. It’s based off the novel Dorothy of Oz by the original author’s great-grandson Roger S. Baum and IDW released a tie in graphic novel.

The Legends of Oz takes place not too long after Dorothy returns home to Kansas. The Scarecrow is instated as the Emperor of Oz with the Tin Woodsman and Cowardly Lion as his close allies. The Wicked Witch of the West not only had a sister, but she also had a brother known as the Jester. The Jester plans to avenge his sister and take over Oz. The heroic three are called to action, but they know the only way to defeat the Jester is with Dorothy’s help.

This graphic novel serves a prequel to the movie. It provides the Jester’s back-story as well as explains what the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man have been up to in Oz since Dorothy returned home. The story is simple: bad guy invades, bad guy makes threats, heroes form plan, and heroes prepare to summon the heroine to save the day. It follows the formulaic setup used for direct-to-DVD cartoon movies. What is disappointing is that the heroic trio don’t do much to stop they Jester themselves. They immediately assume they need Dorothy to return without setting up their own line of defense. While Dorothy is a great character, one would think that after receiving their gifts they would know how to do more. The characters could use more development. The Jester has more than enough page time, but the heroic trio rely too much on readers’ knowledge of the Wizard of Oz story. It would be nice to see how they differ from previous incarnations, but that will probably be left to the movie.

The best thing about the Legends of Oz graphic novel is the art. While the movie was animated in 3D animation, the book is drawn like a traditional cartoon. Most often when 3D rendered characters are drawn in 2D they lose their quality and are funky-looking. Shedd keeps the new and rich interpretations of the legendary characters in a colorful animated environment.

Legends of Oz serves its purpose to introduce readers to the new movie of the same name, but sadly this seems to be the only comic book based on the film, While it encourages readers to see the film, it would be nice to see the rest of the move in comic book format.



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