Review: Wonderland #31
Although this issue looks like it was going to be a hero vs. hero/mother vs. daughter fight, it did not turn out that way. Instead it paid homage to one of the better moments and stories of the series as was told in the second miniseries in the Wonderland saga, Beyond Wonderland. This story finds Violet in a situation similar to her mother, acting as a waitress while simultaneously trying to figure out the madness which Wonderland tries to infect her with, all the more present here as she knows that the power of the Mad Hatter would like to overtake her. In so doing, this is a rare issue of this series which focuses more on Violet than on Calie, leaving the latter almost completely out of the story here. In this case the series without its main heroine works out fine, as Violet has been more than fleshed out enough as a character to be able to handle a story on her own.
As Violet struggles to make it through the hours at her job, she is also fighting the incursion of an unseen foe, one that visits her first in her sleep, but one which she soon realizes is following her wherever she goes. In this way, the story acts almost as a microcosm for the Beyond Wonderland series, as Violet first confronts her tormentor and then fights back, in what is first full of characterizations and then becomes full of gory action. If there is one drawback to the entire issue it is that Violet and by association Calie will be more closely associated with the main Grimm Fairy Tales universe, an association which generally doesn’t work well for any series. What is perhaps most impressive about this is the writing work of Erica Heflin. While the entirety of the stories and the characters had previously been in the hands of Raven Gregory, here she proves that she is able to seamlessly transition to her own storytelling style without losing the core of the characters.
This issue stands as a bit of an aside for the series as a whole, cleaning up a bit of loose ends from the Wonderland miniseries, but still does so in an entertaining manner. It is less common to see with this series a standalone self contained story, but it works here, and did not feel constrained by the space limitation. This series remains one of the bright spots under the Grimm Fairy Tales imprint, and as it stands doesn’t need much to keep up its general high standard.
Story: Erica J. Heflin Art: Manuel Preitano
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy