The year is 2001 and a tornado strikes Emeraldsville, Kansas, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. A few days later, Dee returns home from L.A. and meets up with her old friend Lizzie, however, the reunion isn’t as happy a one as it appears at first. In reality, Dee has returned home to bury her parents, who were killed in the tornado’s strike. After the girls and some towns folk catch up at the local diner, we cut to the funeral where Dee and company are disrupted by the town drunk, telling them to leave town, and claiming that Dee should know the truth about her parents death. She tries to brush the weirdness off, and later that night goes out with her friends, while in the mean time the local law enforcement is investigating the mass beheading of crows around town. We then end on a nice little cliff hanger.
The first issue of No Place Like Home begins to paint the picture of the mysterious murders around Emeraldsville and how Dee directly ties in. While this murder mystery twist may remind others of some of the other off-beat Oz updates, or perhaps Fables, it is still to early to tell what exactly is in store for No Place Like Home and the direction it’s going to go. Although a reinvention of The Wizard of Oz story, issue one feels like it is all based in reality, more CSI than Sin City. The concept behind it is intriguing, but honestly it is still too early to tell.
Tirotto has done a good job setting up the characters in the first issue. His rebellious take on making Dorthy into the slightly alternative-rock scene-esque Dee was cool, but feels a little over-done at this point with “literary characters gone sexy” in the numerous comic book updates of old stories out there. The pacing of the book was a little slow for the first issue, but it is primarily a set-up issue, and you just know the goods of the story are going to be appearing soon within in the next few issues, so no pay off here.
Art by Richard Jordan is fantastic, and I enjoy the run down world of Emeraldsville, Kansas he draws for us. The characters look great under his pencil, and the vibe he gives off in the last pages of the book, post-funeral to the cliff hanger ending, are done with attention and coolness. The cover by Jordan is provocative, and I think sums up the first issue best.
Over all, No Place Like Home isn’t bad, but just slow to start. I think when reading in a collected version it will flow perfectly, but having to wait until next month is a little tough. I’d personally wait for a few issues to come out and pick them up in one pop, or just wait for the collected edition. For those who don’t want to wait, issue #1 is out now.