Willow: Wonderland by Jeff Parker & Christos Gage

17604979Following a series of cataclysmic events in the award-winning Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, all magic was wiped off the face of the earth.

In the aftermath, Wiccan Willow Rosenberg struggles to reclaim her identity and magic in a quest that leads her to strange new worlds where she’ll confront bizarre beasts and reunite with familiar faces. Somehow… someway… and against all odds, she must return magic to her world as she confronts her most fearsome foe to date–herself.

Rating: 4/10

It pains me to rate anything in the Buffy verse this low, but I was really disappointed with this one. There were just some glaring issues with this series that really ruined it for me. The main thing being that Willow says and does things in this series that seem incredibly uncharacteristic of her. Her dialogue seemed more like young high school Willow from the first two seasons of the show rather than the mature and often troubled adult that she has become. While I was reading, Willow would say something that would just strike me as being way too young and also made it seem like she was being a little blasé about the whole mission that she is on. This obviously doesn’t ring true with Willow since even though she sometimes cracked a joke during tense situations, never did she make or treat events as less important than they were.

Her actions also never rang true for me. Very soon after Willow reaches this other dimension, she meets a creature named Marrak who helps her out my destroying a giant worm monster. It almost seems that immediately afterwards, Willow is willing to trust the guy with her life. To me, this seems very non-Willow. One: She is in a dimension that is obviously violent and creepy and she doesn’t think to maybe wait a while to trust this thing with her plans? Come on. Two: This is so not something Willow would do. Despite being a very nice and easygoing person, Willow also knows when to put her trust in someone, and when to be weary. This situation, even to someone not as logical and smart as Willow, would set off some alarm bells and lead someone to at least be careful of what they tell this guy. Nope, not Willow apparently.

It was stuff like this that really bugged me throughout the entire series. On top of that, I wasn’t a fan of the art. There were times when Willow looked a little inconsistent with the rest of the series, and there were also a few panels where the facial expressions either didn’t seem to fit with the current situation or they just looked kind of off in general. The chapter break art was all right except that, in my opinion, a couple of them sexualized Willow a little more that I believe was needed. However, the section break art for part two was really nice.

Overall, this is not the best work in the Buffy universe and it probably could be skipped in the grand scheme of things. While it explains what happened between the time Willow leaves in Angel and when she comes back in Buffy, I think you can get the basic idea of what happens from the little bit of information given in those two. While some soul searching happens for Willow, it wasn’t really anything we haven’t seen already (Willow fighting her inner self) and wasn’t really handled has well as it could have been. So, don’t feel that you need to read this one to really understand Willow or anything for that matter. Maybe stuff will come up later where events in this volume come up, and then I will feel bad for telling you to skip it, but for now, it’s not something to make a point of reading.

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