Issue by Issue – Freedom Fighters #13

Writer – Bob Rozakis
Artist – Dick Ayers
Inker – Jack Abel
Colours – Jerry Serpe
Letters – Milt Snapinn

The Freedom Fighters, having broken Doll Man out of prison shortly before he would have been cleared of the murder charges against him, are still on the run, though it comes to a halt when they encounter their missing team member, Black Condor. While they are happy to see him at first, they soon realise that there is something wrong with the man, especially when he attacks them. Once again the team is thrust into action, though it is no ordinary villain they face, but one of their own. Bob Rozakis takes the reins once more and throws the team into a situation that will push them to their limits and not just physically, but mentally. For the entirety of the series, the team has been tested, more than most and it is starting to wear on them. Accused of crimes they did not commit, committing crimes to prove their innocence and save innocents, hunted and hounded and pursued so much that they simply do not know what to do at this point. Rozakis has filled this series with so much tension that it sometimes becomes unbearable, but it is a good thing as well as it keeps the readers coming back issue after issue, hoping against hope that the current book will be the one that will find the team free and clear and recognised as the heroes that they are. Aside from the battle which finds more of the team transformed into the zombie-like creature that the Black Condor has become and with only Firebrand standing against him, the story also delves into the past of the Black Condor, giving readers his origin story which is absolutely fantastic in every meaning of the word. Much like Tarzan, Black Condor found himself orphaned at a very young age and raised by a giant condor in place of apes, learning how to fly after a time and then taken in by a man named Pierre who would soon die shortly after, thereby transitioning to a political career on Earth-X. It is a fascinating tale and adds some depth to one of the characters whom readers knew very little about previous to this. The one good thing about this book is that it does in fact have a happy ending, or at least as good as these particular heroes have had as of late as they find themselves all together again, free of Homilus’ influence, though still hunted by a world that seemingly will not give them a break. At the end of the day, a great story with incredible artwork that begins with a bang and finishes both on a happy note and a solemn one.

4 out of 5

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