Panel of the Week: 7/15/15

Most comic book fans are familiar with the publishing company Zenescope and their Grimm Fairy Tales series, a series known for it's... well, let's say buoyant female stars. But the series gets a bad rap; yes, the woman are drawn with an amount of sex appeal that doesn't just border on unrealistic absurdity but blows past that border doing 95mph, but the stories can actually be really good, and GFT exemplifies that. It started as an issue-to-issue retelling of different fairy tales and soon grew into its own universe with its own mythology. One of the biggest parts of that was the Wonderland series, a series that spawned multiple sequels and eventually its own ongoing. So it's only fitting that, as Zenescope releases a series of one-shots commemorating their 10th anniversary, that one of those books be Alice in Wonderland (this issue written by Donald Joh, art by Gregbo Watson), which is where this week's winner comes from:

The central conceit of the Wonderland series is that Wonderland is a land of madness that lives to infect our world, and only sacrifices of people like Alice Liddle and her family keep it at bay. In this story, we flashback to a young Alice and a troubled young boy named J.W. who finds his way to Wonderland periodically, coming back again and again because Alice is his only friend. Meanwhile, his life becomes more and more twisted. When he finds that Alice has escaped from Wonderland herself and doesn't remember any of it, he turns into a deranged serial killer. The whole time reading it, I was waiting for the sucker punch I knew was coming, as they always are in a Wonderland one-shot (the ongoing has become a bit more ridiculous than anything else). The sucker punch comes on the last page with the realization that Alice's friend J.W. was a young John Wayne Gacy. Is it silly? Maybe. But it's also a great way to tie the madness of Wonderland to the real world in a concrete fashion. Besides, it's a beautiful page of art. The sadness on the waifish Alice's face as she looks into a mirror, mirrors being gateways to Wonderland, and sees a sheepish, sad vision of her former friend as the readers learn the truth. Plus, it helps that Alice in this image is probably the most realistic a woman in a Zenescope comic ever looks...