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Dark Oz (Comic Series #1-5 )

Griffith, Ralph
Kerr, Stuart
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Bryan, Bill
Arrow Comics
Comic/Graphic Novel/Manga

Beginning with a tribute to the original story, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the tale begins with three 1990s era twenty-somethings being swept away from our Earth to the land of Oz via tornado. There they discover that sinister forces have been at work, and the evil Nome King now rules the land with an iron fist, backed up by his army of rock-dwelling minions. Having become unwilling freedom fighters in a world not their own, Earthlings Peter, Kevin, Mary, and Kevin’s dog Max soon play a central role in ridding the once-beautiful Oz of the Nome King’s dark influence. The trio are first separated in a battle with nomes and Mary is saved by the stick-figure Jack Pumpkinhead. She then meets the Sawhorse, Amber Ombi (Ombi Ambi's nephew), General Jinjur, Hektor Hammerhead and the Wogglebug: the Freedom Fighters of Oz. Kevin and Peter barely escape from a Kalidah, a creature half tiger and half bear. Many adventures occur before the three Earthlings are reunited. They must face Witch Mombi and her Ladies Auxiliary Brigade, an army of enslaved Winged Monkeys, and giant spiders in a cavern. They must also find a way to defeat the Three Evil Kings of Oz: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Lion, as well as defeat the Nome King and all his magical devices and save Queen Ozma to return Oz to its former glory. The three rulers were restored by issue #10. In issue #14, Princess Ozma, who has been under a spell keeping her in a near-vegetative state on the queen's throne next to Ruggedo, is restored and the Wizard found. A new artist took over with issue #16, though Bryan was back with Arrow—he had been drawing the prequel comics. The remainder of the run of Oz climaxes in Dark Oz, though Ruggedo remains as a villain in The Land of Oz.

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