Beneath a stunning cover by Jan Duursema and Tom Mandrake, Michael Fleisher paints a picture of our hero distraught beyond words. The previous issue saw our hero under attack and in defending himself, has killed the woman he loves. It is a sad day in Shamballah as the city mourns the loss of their queen and as such, Machiste manages to put aside all the anger he was feeling as at this moment, it seeming too small a thing to hold onto at a time like this. Despite being laid to rest, Tara is not as dead as she seems and the Scavenger of Souls comes to claim her as his own so that they might make their way through the city and gather as many souls as possible for the newly awakened goddess that he serves. After attacking Machiste, he, Morgan and Jennifer head out to put a stop to Khnathaiti and the Scavenger and in the process, perhaps rescue Tara if there is a way to do so. Fleisher packs the book full of drama, more so than any in his run on the series so far and it sees Travis Morgan in a state never seen previously, even when his daughter was on the brink of dying. Morgan is filled with a sadness deeper than any ocean and when it looks like Tara might be able to come back to him, nothing in all of Skartaris will stop him from being by her side once again. Running alongside the main story is the plot featuring Mariah who has made her way back to the surface world and is now being interrogated by the Russians who believe her to be a spy for the C.I.A. Though you fear the worst for her, you know that somehow, Morgan will come to her aid, or even perhaps Machiste and she will then be reunited with her friends. A powerful issue filled with a lot of action despite the sad turn of events.
4 out of 5