Title: Hatter M, Volume 2: Mad with Wonder
Series: The Looking Glass Wars
Authors: Frank Beddor & Liz Cavalier, art by Sami Makkonen
Publisher: Automatic Pictures
Author Website: www.lookingglasswars.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
Challenge: 100 Books 10, 1010 Challenge
It's a mad, mad, mad world as Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan's maniacal quest to find Alyss continues! In Volume 2, Mad With Wonder, Hatter follows the Glow from London to the battlefields of America's Civil War in search of the Princess who must some day be Queen. The America that Hatter encounters is a sprawling, wounded, boiling landscape of innocence and energy run amok. The war is tearing the country apart, yet Hatter must maintain his sanity in this maelstrom of holy rollers, child healers, prophetic snake handlers, deranged outlaws, and passionate southern belles. As Hatter searches he learns he is not the only Wonderland presence that has found its way to the Promised Land. Queen Redd's black imagination is fueling the Civil War and threatening our world with her evil!
Mad with Wonder, the second volume of Hatter M's journey across Earth searching for the lost Princess Alyss of Wonderland, was not quite as engaging as the first volume of the series. There seemed to be too many interludes trying to tie in the events of the Wonderland civil war with event going on in our world, such as the American Civil War. Don't get me wrong, as a huge fan of The Looking Glass Wars series as a whole, I enjoy seeing the "lost" adventures of Hatter M as he traveled our world in search of Alyss, but this volume seemed detached from the rest of the story somehow. Again, characters were tied into the story that eventually make their way into the main part of the series, but the story itself just didn't seem to mesh in my mind with what would be going on in the main novels.
I also felt that the art seemed a little hard to follow. Not that Ben Templesmith's (the artist of the first graphic novel) is all that clear, but I felt that Sami Makkonen's shifts in scenes were a little hard to follow and unclear as to what was always going on in the frames. His characters were a little to indistinguishable from each other, making it hard to figure out who was who throughout the volume.
As in the first volume, the supplemental material in the back of the volume is interesting, but even more so than in the first volume, you need to read this material to really make clear what is happening in the volume. I personally just don't think it should be a necessity to read the supplemental material in order to fully understand what is happening in the story. The story itself should be able to stand on its own, with the supplemental information adding to the already existing story. I guess it could be argued that these graphic novels are the supplemental material to the main novels, but it just felt like the story could have been presented a little better in the main part of the volume.
Not necessarily a bad volume, but not the best either. Only die-hard fans of The Looking Glass Wars will find this interesting, however. All in all, I'm still going to pick up the final volume in the Hatter M series when it is released.
For more information, visit the Looking Glass Wars website.