Last month I gave White Queen a score of WTF and it was worthy of that. It was terrible, I hated it. I HATED it. HATED. Because of that the whole series is tainted for me. Much like how I might pad a score a point based on a ‘legacy rating’ (the other issues or the concept being so good it carries something mediocre to something worth reading for an issue or two) this will always carry it’s ‘legacy rating’ and cause me to remove points based on that first terrible issue. I can’t say that this issue is worth reading but it is an improvement over the last issue in almost every way. Make no mistake it is an improvement in much the same way as watching someone else step in horse shit is better than you stepping in horse shit. I actually find myself liking the White Queen in this issue. The issue slows down enough to let me see White Queen and understand her better. Her relationship with Cheshire Cat is on display and it feels relatively genuine in that heavy-handed fantasy way. They have a chemistry and it isn’t an interchangeable chemistry. I feel it is a relationship unique to these two characters. The narration comes in overly serious and grim but unlike the previous issue the air is almost immediately cleared by Cheshire Cat teasing White Queen. Any time it gets too serious this relationship takes a step back and takes the piss out of whatever it is they're doing. Something that was sorely lacking in the last issue.
There is still a lot of this I don’t understand. The White Queen talks to the previous leaders of Wonderland and there are interactions that I feel should have more weight than they do and that is perhaps due to this taking part in a much larger narrative. The part I found the most annoying is she ends up talking to the Jabberwocky to figure out what she can do to fight the Black Queen and all the Jabberwocky does is ask the questions back to the White Queen and she swiftly answers them herself. Why did we need this plot device then? It seemed to be a waste of page space and really just an excuse to render the previous queens of Wonderland in scanty clothing. Which I’m not opposed to, but don’t hand me a Hustler and call it art. Let’s call things what they are.
Once again I can’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t already invested in the larger world. As a thing it’s not really worth your time or money unless you’ve already invested quite a bit of both in Zenescope. Like, as an owner, or something. However, as a progression from the last issue it is heads and tails above what came before it. I would have gladly taken this as a first issue over what I was given last month but the whole thing is already concluding next month so there really isn’t a whole lot time to invest yourself. Skip this whole thing and get something else, anything else, instead.
The White Queen #2 Writer: Joe Brusha/Ralph Tedesco/Troy Brownfield Artist: Luca Claretti Colorist: Leonardo Paciarotti Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/4/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital