Cheshire Crossing might just be the ultimate cross-over comic! Staring Alice Liddell (Alice in Wonderland), Dorothy Gale (The Wizard of Oz) and Wendy Darling (Peter Pan), Cheshire Crossing takes the western fantasy genre’s earliest heroines and asks the question: how would their fantastical experiences have impacted them after they returned to their regular lives? Written by Andy Weir and illustrated by Sarah Andersen, Cheshire Crossing is a fun and exciting comic with a star-studded cast of some of classic children’s literature’s most beloved characters, all tossed together in a single, epic adventure.
When Alice Liddell returned from Wonderland, no one believed her story of where she’d disappeared to and she spent the next few years in and out of various sanatoriums and enduring various treatments for her “delusions”. She expected Cheshire Crossing to be more of the same and is surprised to discover that, for once, the staff actually believes her. Cheshire Crossing is actually a research facility that seeks to study her ability to travel to other worlds and the other “patients”, Wendy Darling and Dorothy Gale, are both young ladies with the same power. While Dorothy and Wendy are excited to finally find people who believe them, Alice doesn’t trust their intentions and resolves to make a run for it. But when her escape attempt goes awry and draws the attention of some of their oldest enemies, the girls will have to work together in order to combat the combined forces of Captain Hook and the Wicked Witch of the West!
Cheshire Crossing presents Alice, Dorothy and Wendy as you’ve never seen them before. The trio have all grown from precocious children into sarcastic teens who’ve become jaded by the hardships they’ve endured, both in their own worlds and in the magical lands they’ve traveled to. While Alice, initially, doesn’t want to have anything to do with the other two girls, their shared sense of experience soon draws them together and they wind up making a great team. Alice is caustic but unflappable and she is also a realist who knows when to make a strategic retreat. Wendy is the friendliest of the three and also the most skilled fighter who doesn’t hesitate to charge into danger when her friends need her. Dorothy is the brains of the group and the one who’s always coming up with a plan of action. The three of them develop a great dynamic and their banter and sassy observations are hilarious.
The girls aren’t the only classic characters who make an appearance in this comic. The Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell are all here and Captain Hook and The Wicked Witch of the West show up to antagonize our heroines, and have a grand romance with each other while they’re at it. My favourite cameo appearance, however, was made by none other than Mary Poppins and, true to form, her inclusion is nothing short of perfect. She acts as the girls’ teacher and nanny at Cheshire Crossing and joins in on the adventure in order to safeguard her charges and winds up using her magic powers to kick some serious ass! She’s not actually referred to as Mary Poppins in the comic, due to copy right issues, but it’s extremely obvious that that is who she is intended to be and, with her no-nonsense attitude and fearless devotion to the children in her care, she’s an awesome character either way.
I really enjoyed this witty and exciting take on these iconic characters and I hope there will be a sequel at some point, as I’d love to read more of their adventures together. I’d recommend Cheshire Crossing to teens looking for a fun fantasy story and, as it contains only mild violence and the occasional swear word, it would probably be a good book for tweens as well.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
For more information on this title, visit Penguin Random House’s website.
What did you think of this comic? What other literary figures do you think would make a fun addition to the cast? Let me know in the comments!