Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #3

Writer – Roy Thomas
Artist – Ernie Colon
Inker – Tony DeZuniga
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – John Costanza

Arak and Malagigi, having just survived the machinations of one sorceress, are out to find another dark magic user, one Baledor – enemy of Carolus Magnus and the man who gave Malagigi up to Hessa in the first place. Though this issue may not feature an epic quest, it does see the two heroes make their way to their goal, albeit not without a bit of fighting along the way, not to mention being captured by some ungrateful and mistrustful townsfolk who serve them up as an offering to their dark lord. Ernie Colon draws a beautiful book and with the help of Tony DeZuniga, they manage to create a piece of work that thrills and excites the eye through battles and more. Roy Thomas for his part writes a good tale and it is a good read, but there are times where there is so much, there being so many captions and so much exposition and dialogue that it weighs down the pace of the story. It is understandable that he wants to provide readers with the backgrounds of this or that and context for what is going to happen and what has happened before, but a little less would have made for a little bit of a smoother story. Still, though it might have moved slowly for a bit, it would soon pick up during the second half and finish strongly. This issue would also introduce a new character to the series, one Valda called the Iron Maiden. Coincidentally, Malagigi knows her and when first seen she appears as a villain, a servant of Baledor in a suit of menacing armour. Thankfully, thanks to a little ingenuity from Arak, she is freed from Baledor’s influence and joins the two companions in their quest to remove Baledor from the picture. There is one scene that is a little shocking, though not explicitly graphic, where Baledor in proving his might, makes a man’s head explode – something not shown too often in most comic books and it definitely adds to the man’s reputation as an evil wizard. At the end of the day, the heroes win out thanks to a combination of iron and fire and Thomas sets them on the road to meet Carolus Magnus once more.

3.5 out of 5

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