September 28, 2010

Th3rd World Studios Reviews: The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle #2

The Stuff of Legend. You’ve never read anything like it before; a young boy has been abducted from his home by the Boogeyman, via a magical gateway in his closet which leads to the realm of The Dark. A small makeshift rescue team of the boy’s toys enter The Dark in hopes of finding their owner. Once they enter this perilous land, the toys turn into something much more real and life-like, abandoning their wooden and cotton forms, taking on actual flesh and blood. Which is a good thing since their quest leads them through a multitude of dangers. In this second volume, Th3rd World Studios’ The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle #2 written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, with stunning art by Charles Paul Wilson III, the story starts out with a blast of chaos and nail biting action!

We pick up right where The Jungle #1 left off: The humongous Golems are attacking the soldiers of the Boogeyman and the boy’s group of loyal toys- the creatures don’t discriminate. The smaller toys face this peril mostly by running away as certain death is at the hands of the behemoths. Max the bear though, shows no fear, charging headstrong into the fray. Unfortunately, even his power is no match for the clay Golem monsters as he is easily swept away, and as is the way with war, people get hurt…

After delivering a “HOLY CRAP!” moment, the story cuts to a flash back; a time before the boy was abducted into The Dark. He’s playing with his toys, most of which appear in our story, the clay Golems and soldiers of The Boogeymen included. We then learn how the Boogeyman obtained his primary general: a Knight that was once owned by the boy, but accidentally fell behind a cupboard. Lost for over a year and entangled in an old, abandoned spider web, he has been stranded without even an attempted rescue from the boy. Enter the Boogeyman, who offers the Knight a second chance at life if he’ll only lead his army… The Knight agrees and is henceforth in the employ of the most evil being in the land.

This was my favorite scene of the issue. It was a cool, and unexpected, venture into the origin of a character who hasn’t really been given the spotlight so far in the story. The fact that the Knight was once one of the boy’s most prized toys, but with age fell to the wayside, only to be replaced by a new, shinier Knight, is typical of any child’s toy collection. Here, it added a layer of humanity seeing how much it pained the Knight to now stand against the boy and his forces- the Knight’s former allies. You can tell where his heart really lies, and perhaps this longing will come into play down the line.

This scene also revealed how The Dark has become populated with so many living toys; they are toys the boy has discarded, who have found their way into The Dark. They’ve made it there either because the boy has retired them to the closet (which is a direct gateway into The Dark), or like the Knight, have been coaxed by The Boogeyman.

The Boogeyman then further manipulates Percival, the piggy bank, instructing him to lead the boy’s cadre of would be rescuers into The Jungle. There, the group will certainly meet their doom. Percival is reluctant, but The Boogeyman has already dug his wretched barbs too deep into the pig now, preventing any notion of redemption from the manipulated animal. Little does The Boogeyman know however (or does he?), that The Jungle is swarming with animals, as well as the boy’s first ever toy…but is this iconic toy friend or foe? And what’s the boy been up to all this time, locked away in his cell in an unknown region of The Dark? Is he safe or has further harm come to him?

As expected, Mike Raicht and Brian Smith write another beautiful chapter in The Stuff of Legend saga. It’s mature and engaging enough to be highly enjoyed by adults, yet the themes cater to a younger audience, allowing for a fulfilling experience by comic fans of all ages. Furthermore, if you’re a parent reading this, I would strongly suggest using The Stuff of Legend as a bedtime story for your child. For obvious reasons, sure, but also because lessons of morality, loyalty, love, and friendship are found throughout. Charles Paul Wilson III is still producing gorgeous visuals, finding “the moment” in practically every scene. His work is truly what makes this story something above the norm. Heck, just look at the images posted in this article!

The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle #2 arrives in comic book stores tomorrow, so check it out. If, for some reason, your local comic shop doesn’t stock it, you can order a copy directly from Th3rd World Studios.

Click the following link to read a review of The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle #1, and click here for more on The Stuff of Legend, including interviews with all three creators and more reviews!

Andy Liegl



  1. This is one of my favorite fantasy type books ever since the first volume! There’s a great story here and I’d love to see it on screen!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael DeVito, Mike Raicht, Brian Smith, Double Midnight , Th3rd World Studios and others. Th3rd World Studios said: Early glowing review for The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle part 2, which hits stands tomorrow at your local LCS! […]

  3. Billy

    …maybe someday I’ll get to read TSOL. 🙁

  4. […] Comic Attack "It’s mature and engaging enough to be highly enjoyed by adults, yet the themes cater to a younger audience, allowing for a fulfilling experience by comic fans of all ages." […]

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