Hatter M: The Nature of Wonder continues the graphic novel retelling of Alice in Wonderland. However, this is by no means comparable to the tale by Lewis Carroll. For one thing, real history is part of the storyline. Names, places, and events can be researched if one so chooses. Fictional concepts are still the crux of the book, so much can be taken with a grain of salt.
Hatter Madigan, the protagonist, is on a search through the realms of time and space. His mission? To find Princess Alyss, destined to become the rightful queen of Wonderland. This is particularly important since there is a battle going on between the two sides of Imagination. Black fuels evil thoughts and deeds, while White wants nothing more than to send the darkness on its way.
Is it any surprise, then, that it all lies against the backdrop of the War Between the States? Abraham Lincoln sits in the Oval Office, yet Black Imagination takes care of the matter without a backward glance. There’s no mention of John Wilkes Booth, or even Ford’s Theater, though: the possibilities are endless for fashioning one’s own theory as to what took place.
The artwork by Sami Makkonen is simplistic in nature, yet works well for the book. Fine line drawings tell the story without overwhelming the reader. This tale is intended to be fantastical, so there is a richness in depth as well as scope.
Although things could end in the third novel, they don’t. Alyss is still out there somewhere, but readers are given a glimpse into how Madigan becomes a member of the Royal Protectorate. Here’s a small hint: an older sibling gets involved. Glimpse number two comes as Madigan lies unconscious while a vision quest helps clarify the true purpose of this man.
For the most part, I like this work. There is much to be appreciated, and one will want to keep reading until the final page. Although the subject matter is a bit dark, nightmares will not be left in the mind once the back cover is closed. I will recommend, though, that perhaps it should not be read at night.