The first issue of Alice Never After presented us with a different look at what Wonderland represents. Even without having experienced the first series Dan Panosian and Giorgio Spalletta presented a Wonderland that was more reflective of Alice’s mental health. That created an interesting blend of how we view Alice’s home in London compared to her new journey in Wonderland. We got a chance to check out an early copy of Alice Never After #2. Find out how it turned out with our advance review.
Writer: Dan Panosian
Artists: Dan Panosian, Giorgio Spalletta, and Cyril Glerum
Colorist: Francesco Segala and Gloria Martinelli
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
“Alice’s place in Wonderland becomes ever curiouser, as a newfound role changes everything for her and the unpredictable denizens of her escapism.
But with power comes an ever-weakening trust between her and her most trusted advisors, especially when they congregate with her former tormentors?” – BOOM! Studios
Dan Panosian, Giorgio Spalletta, and Cyril Glerum take what was done in the first and elevate it further with the developments in Alice Never After #2. This second issue places a bigger focus on the Wonderland side of the story. But as the story unfolds you see how that does not diminish what is going on in the real world. Both sides of Alice’s story are as important.
What continues to make the narrative so intriguing is how both Wonderland and the real world examine Alice’s mental state. Whether it is what she goes through directly or what is happening when she is not around, Alice is the centerpiece of it all. In both versions of Alice we see how her mental state continues to take a hit.
While she believes she has control on the Wonderland side of things that is quickly done away. Any power Alice felt being in this magical place where she wields a top title is challenged right away. How Alice reacts to being challenge leaves you wondering if the form of escapism she chose is actually a mental prison that is reflective of her situation.
That’s where the presence of Charles Lutwidge in the real world and Cheshire Cat in Wonderland become standouts as antagonists. With Lutwidge we see how he does not hide knowing what he is doing to Alice is horrible. Then on the Cheshire Cat side, Panosian goes all out showing how the mischievous cat easily disrupts order in Wonderland with a form of chaos that would make Joker and Loki proud. This leads them to be compelling antagonists as they are a force Alice has no answer right now in how to overcome them.
With so much of Alice Never After being in Wonderland artists Spalletta and Glerum, along with colorists Francesco Segala and Gloria Martinelli, balance presenting this twisted version to be equally colorful and off-putting at the same time. Every Wonderland citizen is brimming with personality unique to their design and role they serve in the story. Through it all they work in how Alice does not handle Cheshire Cat’s presence well and forces her escape to not be pleasant at all.
This is balanced out with the more real world setting of London that Panosian draws for a few scenes. Breaking up the real world and Wonderland scenes in this way help emphasize how each one is tackling the same narrative around Alice’s mental health in different ways. Panosian makes sure that his style of drawing the real world setting of London has a grounded version of the style Spalletta and Glerum utilize for Wonderland.
Alice Never After #2 is a strong follow-up to the debut of this series. The twisted version of Wonderland and how it reflects the greater narrative around Alice’s mental health works well together. Cheshire Cat’s particular presence in this issue creates a lot of questions for how this story will inevitably end. All of that leaves you wanting to read the next chapter.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10