Synopsis: As a child, Faith loved watching Wonderland, a children’s fantasy show. This brought her much joy, but, as time went on, the show was cancelled. Years later, during the holidays, Faith comes across a remnant of the show. This leads her down the dark mystery of what happened to Wonderland’s host, Alice? With the aid of the White Rabbit, Faith tackles the corrupting miasma infecting Wonderland. What evil could have brought the Queen of Oblivion to such a fantastic place? And what force will be strong enough to banish her from whence she came?
Review: Valiant takes the unforgettable Alice in Wonderland gives its own spin on it. There are dozens upon dozens of stories that have done this before, so it is difficult to break new ground. This special doesn’t necessarily attempt to do this, but it does provide a fun commentary on the holiday season. Furthermore, Faith is the perfect Valiant protagonist for this tale. As the story unfolds, you realize that it is the loss of a person’s dreams due to consumerism that poisons this child’s fantasy world. It is Faith’s unwavering optimism in the face of despondency that gives her the strength to overcome the jaded cynicism of the Queen of Oblivion.
The most noticeable aspect of this special is the contrast. Panels that show Faith as a child have the warm glow of nostalgia positively dripping from the pages. This is later countered by the dark caves of what used to be Wonderland. Even here, the personification of consumerism has manifested itself in pink and blue children. They seem ominous not because they are out-of-place but because their colors are muted. Those colors should shine brightly, but the lack of a lustre is what gives these creatures their visual punch. Honorable mention the splash page of Alice and the Queen of Oblivion. The duality of it works incredibly well.
Faith’s Winter Wonderland is a little treat just before the holidays douse us in tinsel, wrapping paper, and saccharine, but a story like this reminds us to take a moment to experience the fantasy and merriment that comes with it.