Hello and welcome to another edition of Greg Turner’s RETRO REVIEW. This week I’m going to look at another comic book, but one from two publishers! Yes, that’s right, it’s one of the Special Collector’s Issues, or in this case, a Marvel Treasury Special, i.e. one of the oversized, ten by thirteen inch comics that Marvel and DC put out in the seventies. This one is from 1975 and it is entitled; MGM’s Marvelous Wizard of Oz. It is published jointly by Marvel Comics Group and National Periodical Publications! And here’s what the cover looks like:
The cover features art work by John Romita, and as you can see by the cover blurb, the “Sensational 1st issue” is authorized by the MGM studio. MGM, for those that don’t know, is actually, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer! The cover price of this over-size book was $1.50.
The adaptation of the “MGM Masterpiece” is by Marvel’s Roy Thomas, with art provided by John Buscema. The ink work was by Tony DeZuniga and “the Tribe”. Roy dedicated the book to “the memory of Judy Garland, the perfect Dorothy and a golden talent”! The credit page also sported art by John Romita.
The adaptation is based on the 1939 MGM film, which in turn, was based on the book by L. Frank Baum. It story follows young Dorothy Gale, of Kansas, and her dog Toto, on her trip (be it mental or actual) to the Land of Oz, where she encounters the familiar characters of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the cowardly Lion. Along the way she also encounters Glinda, the Good Witch of the North and Wicked Witch of the West, who seeks revenge against Dorothy for dropping a house on her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, and thus killing her!
Glinda the Good claims she can not help Dorothy to return to Kansas, but that she should seek the help of the great and powerful Oz in his home in the Emerald City. The Munchkins and Glinda set Dorothy on the correct path upon the Yellow Brick Road. It is along this path that she gains the fellowship and friendship of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion.
Everyone knows the rest of the story and Roy Thomas and John Buscema do an outstanding job of bringing the movie classic to the comic book page! The seventy-two (72) page adaptation allows them to include the entire movie, without missing any of the vital scenes!
At the back of the comic, Thomas provides a one page L. Frank Baum biography, then Don Glut does the same for the actual cast members of the movie over three pages with wonderful art to accompany, by Marie Severin.
I give this adaptation a full five (5) out of five (5) Legion Flight Rings and though it may not be for every fan of comic books, especially fans of just super-heroes, the book is well worth your collector’s dollars and I recommend it highly!