Zenescope’s Neverland is a Dark Twist on Peter Pan and a Grim Take on Female Characters
While an interesting and dark take on the story of Peter Pan, Neverland contains offensive, highly-sexualized female characters that pull you out of the story.
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I’m a Peter Pan fan. I love all things Peter, Neverland, Tink, Lost Boys, etc. I have a Peter Pan tattoo. I will pretty much read anything that further develops on his story (I even watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates when I babysit). So, obviously, when I started reading comics, I wanted to read Zenescope’s Neverland series.
This take on Peter and Neverland is really interesting. It completely turns the story on its head. Pan is the villain and Hook (with Wendy) is the reluctant hero, as the only child who’s ever been able to escape Neverland, which Pan has changed into a nightmare. The Darling boys are kidnapped from Aunt Wendy’s NYC apartment. She will go to any length to get them back, including teaming up with, let’s face it, a seemingly crazy, homeless man who tells her he escaped a similar situation when he was a boy. Hook has to overcome his internal demons to become the hero and help Wendy.
So, obviously, this comic has a very cool premise and one that kept me interested and intrigued, even if it wasn’t the most unique take on Pan. I liked that it is a pretty dark take on the original story. Also, Pan is a pretty scary dude, a terrifying villain, and the story keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s definitely “an awfully big adventure.” (I hope you all know where this phrase originates.)
One of the things that seriously irritated me though was the completely unnecessary sexualization of Wendy, Belle (Tink), and Tiger Lily. It seems that the art is aimed at 14-year-old boys what with all the cleavage and disproportioned, huge, shiny butts. Instead of being complimentary to the story (not that excessively sexualized artwork is ever complimentary in my opionion), it is really distracting, offensive, and brought me out of the story so that I could roll my eyes. A lot.
The ending of the story was pretty rushed and not super clear, but the comic is worth recommending if you, like me, love variations on the story of Peter Pan. This is a dark and creative retelling of Peter Pan. But be warned the artwork will probably annoy you. Unless you are a 14-year-old boy, of course.