REVIEW: Alice in Leatherland #5 is the Ending I’ve Been Waiting For (Yay!)

Alice in Leatherland #5 Elisa Romboli (Artist), Iolanda Zanfardino (Writer) Black Mask Studios September 1, 2021

In Alice in Leatherland #5, Alice Snowhite finally thinks she’s found the one. But there’s something missing. And that something is her not-so-secret crush on her best friend, Robin Wolf. Will these two ever set their differences aside?

Alice in Leatherland #5

Elisa Romboli (Artist), Iolanda Zanfardino (Writer)
Black Mask Studios
September 1, 2021

Alice in Leatherland #5 Elisa Romboli (Artist), Iolanda Zanfardino (Writer) Black Mask Studios September 1, 2021

Awww! That’s all I can say after reading Alice in Leatherland #5. This is the perfect culmination to the will-they-won’t-they romance between Alice and Robin. After so many failed dates, Alice finally finds the perfect girlfriend. She loves all the same things that Alice loves, especially fairytales and sweeties. But there’s a spark missing. A spark that Alice only ever had with Robin.

Meanwhile, Robin’s no-relationships rule is making her life a nightmare. All this while, Robin’s been the one-night stand who kicks people out of her house or leaves them when she’s done. But now, Robin’s meeting people who do the same to her. And she does not like that. There’s only one person who Robin would want to be with. And that person is Alice.

But Alice and Robin are like chalk and cheese. Those differences were fine when they were friends, but it’s really driven a wedge between them once romance was on the cards. Alice hasn’t hidden her disapproval of Robin’s promiscuity. Robin thinks Alice’s idea of a fairytale romance is ridiculous. But maybe these aren’t the dealbreakers Alice and Robin thought they were?

I have been shipping Alice and Robin since the first issue and Alice in Leatherland #5 gives me everything I was hoping for. I really thought these two would get together earlier in the series, but they’ve managed to get in their own way throughout. Fortunately, this final issue resolves so much of that tension. And it does so by giving Robin a taste of her own medicine. I have to say, reading those panels felt like sweet, sweet revenge. Sorry, Robin, but you deserved it.

Despite the ups and downs, I love how this series shows that Alice really did have to go through the tough times to find herself. And that’s how Alice has become someone that Robin realises she has to change for. It isn’t just Alice’s outward appearance that catches Robin’s eye—though Alice’s short, platinum bob and her sexy clothing style certainly help start the conversation. Alice was in her shell, and hard on herself for just being her. Her breakup and move away from home helped Alice become the person she always wanted to be. When you’re going through something awful—like the pandemic, for instance—it can feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But this series is all about coming out better on the other side. It’s a hopeful message when life is still going sideways for so many of us.

Also, can I just say how relieved I am to get a happy, super-romantic ending? Writer Iolanda Zanfardino has written a generally positive vibe into this series, but I was concerned that Alice in Leatherland #5 would decide to go in a different direction. Fortunately, it does not. And the hopeless romantic in me got the satisfactory finale I’d been waiting for. What a relief!

I have loved the art in this series and this finale does not disappoint. Every single character we’ve met during these five issues—and there have been plenty—looks like an individual. I could easily identify them just by looking at their faces. And that is something I want to point out because it’s hard to draw so many distinct characters, but Elisa Romboli has consistently done a great job. This is not to say that other artists who reuse faces are terrible—it’s usually because of looming deadlines—but this is something I want to commend Romboli for.

I also love the dedication to body diversity. It’s so hard to find different body shapes, especially for female characters, in comics. They’re so often thin or marginally muscular. But we get a range in this series. In Alice in Leatherland #5, we get more body diversity, but what I absolutely adore is how lovingly the art renders Alice. She’s a fat, Black woman who gets to wear sexy clothes, look hot, and have her body appreciated by her partners. I may cry. Please can we have more fat rep like this?

This entire series has been a joy to read and a boon in this never-ending apocalypse. Alice in Leatherland #5 was the perfect finale to a story that is delightfully queer, romantic, and representative. I am delighted with the conclusion, but I wouldn’t say no to more of Alice and Robin’s adventures in Leatherland. Hint, hint!

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir