Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #13

Writer – Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas
Artist – Alfredo Alcala, Ernie Colon
Inker – Alfredo Alcala
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – Alfredo Alcala

With this issue, Alfredo Alcala takes over full-time pencilling duties from Ernie Colon and the book continues to look great, a seamless transition if there ever were one. It all begins with Arak and his new companion Satyricus looking to save some monks from a group of bandits who are attacking them, but when all is said and done, the monks lie dead or dying and demons from the sky called the Keres, swoop down to finish the job. Arak tries his best to save the last remaining monk, but he is no match for the Keres, the creatures seeming indestructible and as the rest of the monsters look to make off with the souls they have stolen, he is saved only by that as the Keres he was battling swears that they will meet again and Arak will die by its hand. Alcala and Roy Thomas make it all quite exciting, though Satyricus proves to be of little help. Soon they find themselves among a congregation of monks, brothers of those that died, and it is not long before they are made aware of a problem that the monks now face, one they swear was sent by Satan to tempt them and of course, Arak is ready to help, if only so that their true identities are not discovered. Making their way into the depths of the mountain Satyricus begins to faint and after Arak presses onward, he is attacked by the Keres he fought previously. After being left for dead, Arak comes upon a tapestry that depicts his dead god and the moment of his birth, a mystery to perhaps be solved in the next issue. Despite only being eighteen pages long, Thomas and company pack the pages full of both action and intrigue with a touch of horror and the mythological to make for a very captivating read. The book finishes off with another tale of Valda, co-written by Danette Thomas and drawn by Ernie Colon and it finds the woman, now a knight of the court of Carolus Magnus, doubting the intentions of three Avar Huns who have come to sign a peace treaty with the king. She knows that something smells foul about the whole situation and she is soon proven true during a hunting trip the next day when the king is transformed into a stag and soon to be killed by his very own son. This second tale of Valda was far more entertaining than the first, found in the last issue, and continues to prove why she both deserved her knighthood and the moniker of ‘The Iron Maiden.’

4 out of 5

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