Realm: Tulgey Wood, Wonderland
To Have Been Featured In: Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Primarily Featured In: Wonderland (Graphic Novel)
Voiced By: Non-Applicable
First off, my apologies for not getting this next dragon out yesterday as planned but… Well, to be frank, I realized I was nearing novella length with this one dragon alone solely for the reason that the Jabberwock, much like Bahamut of Final Fantasy, is variable by the incarnation. Unlike Bahamut, there are far more drastic differences than mere cosmetics in concern to the Jabberwock, not “Jabberwocky” as it is often called. As such, I shall cover the various Jabberwock throughout the various media wherein it played, or might have, played a prevalent role.
To start with, to those whom have never read Through the Looking-Glass, the Jabberwock is a creature spoken of in the poem entitled, “Jabberwocky” hence the common confusion towards the name. It is a deadly and fearsome creature to be had, even in the wondrous nonsensical underground of Wonderland. It is described as a beast of great, catching claws, massive, snapping jaws, and eyes that burn like the Inferno itself.
Though not outright stated in the poem itself, it is firmly believed amongst many that only a Vorpal Blade may slay the beast dead with a quick snicker-snack to its neck and pop goes the head. Yet if one to see the illustration of the creature… While it is indeed draconic, it is by far the silliest dragon I’ve ever seen bar none. Of course, that’s merely that particular incarnation of the Jabberwock that resides firmly in its poem and does nothing more than provide Alice with a subject to discuss with Humpty Dumpty when she happens upon him.
Originally, the Jabberwock was meant to be in the Disney’s animated retelling of the tale set in the scene following Alice storming out of the Mad Tea Party and traversing through the Tulgey Wood. It is here where the very denizens of the wood would start to sing the song trying to both warn and frighten Alice of the Jabberwock as it steadily looms closer and closer. However, Alice would not be deterred and even when face-to-face with the burbling beast, she turns up her nose at the nonsense of it all and continues storming off much to the Jabberwock’s befuddlement.
Unfortunately, the scene was scrapped for time constraints though an element or two lived on in the final film in the form of the Cheshire Cat singing the opening verses to the classic poem. Of course, there was more to the cat simply singing this song, especially so in the Tulgey Wood itself, but that pertains more to the comic book sequel of the film entitled simply as Wonderland.
Written by Tommy Kovac and illustrated by Sonny Liew, Wonderland is the comic that tells the tale of the one Wonderland character that had yet to be ever given a story and that character is the housemaid of the White Rabbit, Mary Ann. Of course, there are several other characters that were never thought of much throughout the book, such as the Kings and Queen of the other card suits as well as the three sisters whom happen to live at the bottom of a treacle well, but that’s neither here nor there. In the aftermath of the Queen of Hearts being, rather falsely, informed that the White Rabbit had been harboring and had in fact led the “Alice Monster” into Wonderland, she was deadest to execute him on the spot in his own home.
Thanks to a serious case of germaphobia in the form of a petite housemaid, Mary Ann and the White Rabbit escaped into the Tulgey Wood where they were met by the Cheshire Cat singing the song of the Jabberwock. While Mary Ann tried to hush the cat and warned that it was worse than the bad luck to quote that poem, particularly in that forest of all places, the Cheshire Cat goaded the White Rabbit into reciting the rest of the poem to which the Jabberwock arrived in reply. For the Jabberwock, at least in this comic book adaptation, is something of a summoned creature insomuch that it will arrive and actively pursue anyone whom dares to recite the poem that highlights its demise, even going so far as to chase them outside its home forest and onto the grounds of the still royally ticked off Queen of Hearts.
After making an attempt at trying to eat her husband, the Jabberwock was slain by the Queen of Hearts to which the Cheshire Cat tried to impress how brutal and savage she is and how they, being the card soldiers and other citizens of Wonderland, could not stand to have her as a ruler. Unfortunately, the Cheshire Cat’s ploy at anarchy failed when the Queen revealed that the Jabberwock was nothing more than an artistic illustration on a bit of aged parchment.
In both incarnations, the Jabberwock is vastly different in its design, especially to the original illustration. They do at least share one similarity with each other and that’s their gargantuan size with the two of them being large enough to gobble a person whole with room to spare. In the Jabberwock-that-might-have-been, it still possesses the eyes of flame and is easily more draconic in body but is lacking in the catching claws with its tiny, almost Tyrannosaur-like arms, and wearing a purple sweater of all things. Still, I give credit to the fanged bucktooth, the cloven feet, and the decidedly dark, almost moody, color scheme.
As to the one in the comic book, while it has some catching claws it’s the jaws that sell it as a monster to me. There’s a mouth that can truly gobble up whole packs of cards in a single bite though it is offset by that wiggly snake-tongue and the three regular eyes. Between the two, the Disney animated one wins claws down because really… It would have been a catchy tune regardless of the frightening imagery…