No Time For Fools: A Darker Take on Some Classic Characters

Cover for No Time For Fools Issue 1, image credit Artistic Range Studios and Ezekiel Morris

No Time For Fools is a comic I stumbled upon while walking through the aisles of MCM this year. Through all of the Comic Village, no artwork leapt out at me quite like the front cover of this series. The design work on this is incredible and helps to build towards the world and tone it seeks to establish.

The comic’s plot centres around a dark and twisted take upon the classic story of The Wizard of Oz, and while the characters are recognisable, they are all slightly different than we would expect as readers delving back into Oz. The Wicked Witch is gone, but Dorothy has become a dictator in her place, ruling with the help of the Scarecrow, whose redesign makes him look more like the Batman villain than the friendly film character. Though most of issue one takes place centring on these two formulating a plan, it seems the main characters for the series will be three characters resurrected by the two with the mission of harvesting souls. These three characters appear to be built on the stereotypes of ‘The Muscle’, ‘The Geek’ and ‘The Attractive Woman’. While I don’t doubt that the characters will evolve away from these archetypes, issue one simply introduces them, so this is the only real insight into their characters we receive.

While the premise of this comic is solid, and is a thoroughly enjoyable read, issue one’s final page leaves the reader with more questions than answers. While I don’t doubt that this is an intentional move designed to bring the reader back for issue two, I personally feel that there are slightly too many questions unanswered. Why are Dorothy and the Scarecrow after souls? What reason has led them to pick the three heroes they have to complete this task? What reasoning is there behind the selection of souls that need to be collected? And what is the role of the character introduced on the final page? (I will leave this character’s identity unknown so as not to ruin this for other readers.)

That being said, despite the somewhat slow pacing of issue one, I realise that this comic was a monumental piece of work for its creator. Ezekiel Morris created the concept, scripted and drew the entire book. This is a stunning feat for one person to do, and I have to credit him with creating some fantastic artwork. The comic is entirely coloured in various tones of red, providing it with a fantastic aura of being a darker take on a loved classic, particularly as this overwrites the memorable colourful land that we witnessed in the original story.
Personally, I enjoyed No Time For Fool’s introductory issue. The mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar helps to build a world in which we feel at home and a stranger at the same time. Equally, the fact that we come in with most of Dorothy and the Scarecrow’s plan already in motion leaves us with questions that pull us into the story so much that the final page comes far too early. Overall a solid comic from a good independent creator.

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