The attack came with no warning and only his training prepared him for what he must do. Going against everything in him that screamed at him to defend the Queen, to protect her from the usurpers, Hatter Madigan did his duty and protected her daughter, Princess Alyss of Wonderland. But once the two of them had fled through the Pool of Tears, they were separated and Hatter must search through a strange and wondrous new land to find his lost liege.
Frank Beddor’s novel series, The Looking Glass Wars, turns the old story of Alice and Wonderland on its head. In it, Alyss is an exiled princess from the kingdom of Wonderland who tells her terrible tale to an aspiring young author, Lewis Carroll. Carroll retells her story as the nonsensical Alice in Wonderland, changing all of the parts that could have helped Alyss’ loyal guard, Hatter Madigan, find her and bring her home. The novels tell Alyss’ story, but Hatter M’s tale is no less important, so Beddor teamed up with veteran illustrator Ben Templesmith to tell of the journeys of Hatter M in comic form.
Beddor has crafted an engaging story, even for those who have not yet read his novels. Action, humor, a keen sense of what life was like during the Victorian Era, these are all present. The atmosphere of the story feels real, even as readers know that it is a fantasy. This is a difficult task to succeed at, but Beddor does. As Hatter tries to get out of France and find out where Alyss might have landed, readers will be fascinated by not only his story, but by the side stories into which he lands.
Templesmith’s dark, moody art is best known in more violent adult comics such as 30 Days of Night and Fell, but it works just as well here, even with the violence mostly toned down….