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Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars    by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier & Ben Templesmith order for
Hatter M
by Frank Beddor
Order:  USA  Can
Desperado, 2008 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In The Looking Glass Wars, Frank Beddor brought us the true story - involving parallel worlds and magical, dynastic wars - behind Alice in Wonderland. Princess Alyss Heart fled to Earth after her vicious aunt Redd staged a violent coup in Wonderland, which runs on imagination-powered magic. At the last minute, Queen Genevieve assigned her own bodyguard, the effective and acrobatic Hatter Madigan, to take her beloved daughter through the Looking Glass and protect her. But Alyss and Hatter were separated.

Now, in Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars Volume 1, fans can enjoy Hatter's detailed adventures in full color, graphic novel format. Ben Templesmith's atmospheric art adds shadows and dark drama to these exciting encounters, that are introduced by the reminder that 'This is not the story of a Mad Hatter'. Instead it's the tale of a Royal Bodyguard's search for his charge in an alien world (our own), 'where Imagination is fleeting and its proponents seemingly few.' We see him arrive hatless in 1859 Paris, where he wields his knives, terrifies locals, and ends up in jail.

Hatter, who follows the Millinery Code of Honor as well as the trail of the Glow of imagination, escapes to seek both hat and lost princess. Pursued by Walkers, he journeys on to Budapest, where he allies with reporter Magda Pushikin to fight villains who feed on children's imagination, in particular the evil Baroness Dvonna. He realizes that 'all hope lies in White Imagination' and that there are allies and adversaries in both worlds. At the end of this first adventure in the Hatter M series, are pages of Probing Questions from all around the world, and answers that explain much about hats, puddles, and other wondrous things.

Hatter Madigan is an amazing character and this first volume of Hatter M is great graphic fun. But I recommend that you read The Looking Glass Wars first, in order to get the most out of this entertaining spin-off series.

2nd Review by Ricki Marking-Camuto (Rating:3):

Fans of Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars series will delight in this new Geo-Graphic Novel companion to the story. The first volume of Hatter M, which Beddor wrote along with Liz Cavalier, contains the first four comic books in the series drawn by Ben Templesmith.

Hatter Madigan, Royal Bodyguard to the White Queen, was ordered to take Princess Alyss out of Wonderland as all-out war raged between the Queen and her sister. However, as Hatter was taking Alyss through the Pool of Tears, they became separated. Now Hatter is running all over 1859 Europe in search of the missing princess. His only hope to find her is to follow the glow of her imagination. Others, though, are out to extinguish that glow. Before Hatter can find Alyss, he must fight for a musical prodigy whose imagination is about to be wiped out by an imagination-hating duchess in Budapest. Plus, there is a French magician who is after Hatter's transforming weapon/hat.

Hatter M is a dark comic that relies heavily on color to enhance the story. Templesmith's expert use of coloring helps set the mood and delve deeper into different characters' inner motives. Combined with Beddor and Cavalier's narrative, Hatter M is a work of art that will delight fans of The Looking Glass Wars and of high-quality comics alike.

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