Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #15

Writer – Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas
Artist – Adrian Gonzales, Trevor Von Eeden
Inker – Alfredo Alcala
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – Alfredo Alcala, Ben Oda

Still on the trail of Valda whom the Byzantiums had taken prisoner, Arak and Satyricus come upon the port city of Thessalonika, a place that has been besieged by a monster of late and does not take kindly to red-skinned strangers. After a bit of a tussle where it looks like Arak is going to win, he is knocked out and soon taken in by the tavern keeper where he finds himself and the man’s beautiful daughter. It is here that Arak learns that her father Makados is the man who summoned the invisible creature to torment the town, conjured from the remains of the legendary Hydra. As it is, Arak cares not for the local politics or why Makados did what he did, he only knows he needs to catch the next ship out if he is to see Valda again. Suffice it to say, Roy Thomas and new penciller Adrian Gonzales do make it easy on Arak and Satyricus as they run into the invisible Hydra which chases Satyricus throughout the town with Arak following in tow. All of this eventually leads to the Hydra being defeated, Makados a broken man, the town in shambles and a bit of good fortune for the companions. Thomas writes the usual good yarn that is packed full of action, but it gets even better thanks to the pencils of Gonzales who makes it come beautifully to life. A second tale starring Valda picks right up from the last issue as she discovers that she is a prisoner of the Avar Huns, more specifically their shaman. While she wonders why she has not been killed as of yet, it is due to the fact that he has fallen in love with her or at the very least, become quite smitten as he thought her quite beautiful when he saw her bathing in the river. This leads to the shaman having to prepare a sacrifice for his Kagan – that sacrifice turning out to be Valda. As with all things that have to do with love though, the shaman ends up sparing Valda’s life and making good with an escape that she might live to tell the tale. Both stories in this book were quite good as Thomas and company continue to do what they do best with the Valda back-up tale being the best one yet. A great book through and through.

4 out of 5

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