It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally here! The villainous Princess Syla has taken control of Borta Norling’s magical abilities. How will our heroes ever succeed? With Jackie Ball, Mollie Rose, Nimali Abeyratne, and Ed Dukeshire comes the exciting conclusion of this series, Welcome to Wanderland #4!
Welcome to Wanderland #4: An Epic Conclusion
Welcome to Wanderland #4 opens with Riot and her brother, King Sebastian, trapped on an island. Despite Riot’s protests, they call on Riot’s old friend and crush, Captain Margot Forten, for help. Meanwhile, Bellamy finds herself trapped back in Wanderland, which has been warped by Syla’s borrowed magic. A worried Michael scolds her for disappearing on him again and demands an explanation. After she tells him everything, Michael helps Bellamy open a portal to Wander. They find Riot and Sebastian and make their way to Syla.
The royal siblings keep Syla distracted while Bellamy convinces Borta to cut Syla off and go back to his family. He disappears, taking his magic with him and leaving Syla powerless. As they celebrate their victory, Riot and Margot kiss much to Bellamy and Sebastian’s delight. Bellamy restores Wanderland and the group goes off to explore Wander together.
Rebellious Princess & The Nerdy Mage
Over the past four issues, Riot and Bellamy have both grown so much. Riot, who began as a boisterous, insecure rebel, has opened up about her feelings. This became most apparent in Welcome to Wanderland #4 during her confrontation with Syla. Before, she might have just kicked and punched her way through, cracking jokes along the way. But now, Riot confronts Syla’s insecurities which bear a strong resemblance to her own. Riot learns not to let her place in succession define her self-worth. This time, she tries to stop Syla from connecting with her. Even though she doesn’t succeed, Riot still tries because she recognizes Syla’s humanity as her sister. At this moment, Riot becomes a real hero.
Bellamy’s journey also centers on her overcoming her insecurities. She starts off as a loner who cares too much about Wanderland and what internet trolls have to say. After mastering her powers and spending time with Riot, she learns the importance of friends. After all, their opinions definitely outweigh those of internet trolls. This growth is best exemplified in her speech to Borta Norling. She loves leaving her mark on Wanderland, but protecting her friends is a much better use of her powers. In the end, she learns to put her friends above her own self-interest and like Riot, she becomes a hero.
New Characters In Welcome to Wanderland #4
When it comes to new characters, it would have been nice to see a little more development. For instance, Welcome to Wanderland #4 introduces us to Margot, Riot’s old friend and crush. While Margot seems pretty cool, we really only get to know her in this issue. The rest of the time, we only know what Riot tells us about her which isn’t that much. We never learn how they became friends or how they got separated or when Riot started to like her. Thus, when they get together at the end, it doesn’t feel as satisfying as it could have been.
Conversely, King Sebastian gets a little more backstory and a lot more time with Riot. We see them bonding as children in flashbacks, and we learn from the last issue that he personally selected as her tutor. We also see them talk about their relationship as siblings as they figure out what to do about Syla. As a result, he feels more fleshed out and easy to root for as a character. Nevertheless, Michael, who’s been there since issue #1, still wins the prize for best big brother ever. Even though Bellamy throws a lot at him, he still does everything he can to protect and support her. Aside from Bellamy and Riot, he is the true star of this story.
A Subtle Transition
Welcome to Wanderland #4 features some outstanding facial expressions. From Bellamy to King Sebastian, you can see every feeling written on each character’s face. In fact, faces become especially important when it comes to King Sebastian. In a flashback, we find out that King Sebastian is transgender and we briefly see his transition between pages. The last panel of the childhood flashback shows a young princess’s face.
The next panel has the same face again but older, with more masculine features, revealing the character as Sebastian. This is the only information we get about Sebastian’s being transgender because it’s all the information we need. Even though it isn’t necessary to understand the story, this short visual sequence still greatly enriches his character.
Don’t Miss Something Wanderful!
Welcome to Wanderland #4 brings this lovely series to a close. This comic has been so much fun to read with its dynamic characters, theme park references, and heartfelt messages. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Riot and Bellamy and seeing them learn from each other. They make a fantastic duo and I only wish we could have even more time with them in Wander.