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Review – Alice Ever After #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Dan Panosian
Artwork: Giorgio Spalletta, Dan Panosian
Colours: Fabiana Mascolo
Lettering: Jeff Eckleberry
Release Date: 6th April 2022


It’s safe to say that dark reimaginings of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland aren’t exactly groundbreaking at this point, but something about this new BOOM! Studios release from Dan Panosian and Giorgio Spalletta drew me in from the first moment I heard about it.  This series serves as a twisted sequel to the classic book, and features an adult Alice struggling to adjust to life in cold, harsh reality, desperately trying to return to the fantasy world of her childhood and turning to illegal narcotics to escape to “Wonderland” as frequently as she can.

Panosian clearly isn’t in too much of a rush here, an approach which really helps to establish Alice as a character, as well as her troubled history and the complicated relationship she has with her family.

There are several interesting narrative quirks along the way that really help to keep the pages turning, foremost being the fact that the book is narrated by Kitty and Snowdrop, Alice’s two cats.  Their awareness of what’s going on  helps to create an intriguing feel to the story, and the pair are particularly helpful in filling in a lot of the storyline blanks, delivering much-needed exposition in a subtle way.  The second quirk that I really enjoyed is the way that quite a few of the real world characters Alice encounters have the same traits and mannerisms as their Wonderland counterparts.  This casts a cloud of doubt over the whole story, giving it a distinctly Wizard of Oz-esque “and you were there too” vibe.

On the visual side of things, Spalletta does a fantastic job with both the character design and the overall flow of the issue.  This isn’t a book packed with action sequences or even much in the way of grand emoting, so the Italian artist deserves a ton of credit for bringing the script to the page as dynamically as he does, with some wonderfully expressive and interesting-looking characters throughout.  Similarly, colourist Fabiana Mascolo does a fantastic job of keeping things visually interesting on the page, clashing warm interiors with the chilling Victorian streets.

There’s also one striking sequence where – and forgive me if I’m wrong here – it appears that Panosian himself jumps in to provide the artwork for a few pages.  The subtle differences between Panosian and Spalletta’s styles helps to underscore the difference this scene has from the others, which really helps to enhance its narrative impact.  Either that or it could just be Spalletta mixing it up really, really well – which may be even more impressive, actually.

The final pages see Alice taking matters into her own hands, staying one step ahead of her increasingly frustrated and disdainful parents and potentially taking one step closer to returning to her childhood fantasy land – for better or worse.

A dark, grown-up sequel that takes a twisted look at what happened next for Alice.  Panosian, Spalletta and Mascolo each do a stunning job of bringing this tale to the page, and I absolutely can’t wait to see just how far down the rabbit hole this story is going to go.

Rating: 4/5.


[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter


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  1. Review – Alice Ever After #2 (BOOM! Studios) – BIG COMIC PAGE

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