HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Abadazad #1
writer: J.M. DeMatteis
artist: Mike Ploog

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. If you do, you might see way too many influences poured into a blender and set to chop instead of puree. Yes, the chunks of Oz, Little Nemo, and Labyrinth still lurk on the surface of Abadazad, but in a weird way, DeMatteis is so naked about it that it's forgivable.

Besides, any excuse to let Mike Ploog go wild with his imagination is a valid one. Because this first issue largely takes place in the "real" world of Brooklyn, however, the imagery is a bit constrained. Framed by excerpts from the original Abadazad book, Little Martha in Abadazad (stay with me here), Ploog still manages to make the mundane look lusher than it has any right to be.

You say you've never heard of Abadazad? DeMatteis fills it all in for you, and as mentioned above, it owes a huge debt to early twentieth century children's literature. Unlike most of its sources, however, the Abadazad books have allegedly maintained a tight grip on children's psyches. You might be hard-pressed to find a kid today that knows The Wizard of Oz was a book first, but in CrossGen land, everybody knows about Franklin O. Barrie's literary creation. (Whoops - there's a little Peter Pan in there, too.)

So maybe there's a little bit of wishful thinking there on DeMatteis' part. It's also a pretty common thing for writers to exaggerate the possible success of the stories within their stories. Yet the literary Harry Potter certainly hasn't lost a bit of his pull on the public's imagination, despite decent film adaptations. You have to accept this overwhelming popularity, and the tight coincidence that make the story turn. This is, after all, about magic.

Not just magic as in mystical powers, but the magic of childhood, of imagination, and love, specifically Kate Jameson's love for her baby brother Matt. Ploog has a way with drawing children, and the emotions running through the sibling scenes really resonate, making Matt's disappearance that much more wrenching. Unfortunately, it's also pretty predictable.

DeMatteis sets it at a carnival, never a good place for two children to be wandering alone. As Matt begs his sister for one last ride, a lanky clownish stranger offers him a ticket. It's every parents' nightmare, and Ploog draws it with a quiet beauty. If there's any flaw in the sequence, again, it's that this carnival is way too refined - not just for Brooklyn, but for anywhere. Somehow, the artist makes even terror comfortingly seductive.

But this is no stark drama about the loss of a child. Rather, it's a dark doorway to fantastic, possibly even kid-safe, adventure.

There's plenty of pain in the real world, and the creative team refuses to shy away from that. There's always hope, and one of the common themes of DeMatteis' work has been to find that light.

The final page explodes into bright colors and only the tip of the iceberg of Ploog's imagination, which will only get brighter as the series progresses. By all means, pick this one up and buy an extra copy for a kid you know.


Download Preview Pages Here!

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites