Zenescope Entertainment 2021
Written by Jay Sandlin
Illustrated by Cem Dayioglu, Hakan Aydin & Alessio Mariani
Coloured by Leonardo Paciarotti
Lettered by Carlos M. Mangual
Neverland is a realm filled with terror and gripping action and adventure, whether it is vicious, pirate battles in flying ships, or whole islands filled with giant man-eating, killer crocs. One person, Nathan Cross, knows these horrors too well. Haunted since childhood by this cursed land, he had thought to have escaped its nightmares, but now, back in the place he never wanted to see again, he is searching for a way to save someone he cares about.
Will he be able to hang onto hope, or even the last shred of his humanity, or will this world finish what it started so many years ago? Don’t miss this next oversized Neverland epic!
It has been a while since I have visited Neverland and to be honest I love that this is an oversized annual. It gives Jay so much more space to really get involved with the storytelling in how and why Nathan has to go back to Neverland. That and it hopefully sets up another arc or limited series with him and Wendy being targeted by Pan so that we’ll see more of these characters.
I am very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented beautifully. The character development is phenomenal and all throughout this issue as we see the dialogue, character interaction and the way they act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter not only are they fleshed out beautifully but you feel like these are people you personally know. They are familiar and that’s sensational because we connect with them, their reasons and their reactions. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story and the twists & turns along the way we’re reminded just how great this totally twisted and violent place really is.
I am enjoying how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story grow and strengthen throughout. These layers being character centric really allow us into their lives and how this world changes them. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow and how it moves the story forward is so perfectly achieved.
The interiors here are brilliantly rendered. The linework is stupendous and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to bring such great quality detail work is stunning to see. I love the creativity and imagination that we see and whether it is the Croc, how different Nathan looks on Earth versus Neverland, Belle and Tiger Lily and the limited use of backgrounds really captures the readers attention. How we see the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope of the story is done well. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a super talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is fabulous. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is rendered exquisitely well. I love the effect that Belle’s wings have and how they pop.
Jay just keeps getting better and better with each new story he writes. This one is smart, intelligent, entertaining, engaging and full of heart which is why the good guys usually win. Though what he is able to do with the characterisation and how he’s able to put Pan into this story and keep him so true to who he is is honestly a bit terrifying. Never before have we seen a villain quite like him and Cinderella certainly does try. This is a perfect book for new readers and longtime fans alike and it’s the kind of introduction and/or reminder why Neverland isn’t a fairy tale but a cautionary one.