Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #11

Writer – Roy Thomas, Robert Kanigher
Artist – Ernie Colon, Jan Duursema
Inker – Alfredo Alcala
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – Alfredo Alcala, Janice Chiang

Khiron the centaur has been waiting for Arak for many years, centuries even and that is why he has guided Arak up to the top of Mount Olympus in order to show him why and to perhaps reveal a little of the man’s origins. For Arak, while all of it is interesting, especially the fact that he might be in some way, the son of Zeus, he is far more concerned with Valda and where it is that she might be. While trying to get the answers he seeks, Roy Thomas and Ernie Colon introduce the antagonists of the book who just so happen to be a flock of harpies, ancient creatures who have claimed Olympus as their own and mean to make a meal of both Khiron and Arak. Unknown to the monsters is the fact that they face two seasoned warriors and it is not long before they are defeated which once again leads back to Valda. Her whereabouts soon come to light as Satyricus, the last satyr alive much like Khiron is the last centaur, tells of the night he bewitched her with his pipes and of how the Byzantium soldiers attacked and took her captive. It is not long before Thomas has his hero set out to find the soldiers and when he does, he and his new companions attack, only for Khiron to be struck down by an arrow with Valda nowhere to be found. Finishing off the book and the last chapter of its story is Robert Kanigher and Jan Duursema’s The Viking Prince in Frozen Hell for a Viking. Having made it to Krogg the Red’s castle, it all but seems impregnable from land or sea, but thanks to his new companion Nikki and his pet hawk, Jon is able to breach the walls by going over them. It is not long before Jon finds himself in front of Krogg just as he was about to rape Ailsa, but instead of killing the man where he stands, or at the very least trying to, he stands down for fear of her coming to harm. Kanigher gives no happy ending here as Ailsa would rather die than see her brother hurt and so she jumps from the tower window, killing herself thereby freeing up Jon to kill Krogg without anything standing in his way. Jon is devastated of course and begs his companions to leave him, which of course they refuse and it all ends with them riding off into the distance. Kanigher may not have ended the story off the way most would have liked, but he did leave it open for further adventures to take place and left his main character in a position that whoever took it upon themselves to continue his tale, would be able to explore his motivations for continuing on among other things. Altogether another great issue, but one packed with death and tragedy.

4 out of 5

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