Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #21

Writer – Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas
Artist – Adrian Gonzales
Inker – Alfredo Alcala
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – Alfredo Alcala

Sailing upon the Sea of Shifting Sand is no easy task even for the best of men and Arak just so happens to be one of them. The going is treacherous, more so perhaps than any normal body of water and it is not long before it gets even more dangerous. Satyricus can do nothing but complain and Johannes is all but calm and collected, the man having done this trip previously. As for Valda, there is a reason she is known as the Iron Maiden and she, like Arak, takes it all in for what it is. Soon the sea turns into one of rolling rocks and thus the need for a stone boat which they just so happen to have on board. Again, the companions do their very best to stay aloft, even when it happens to turn into a waterfall, the rocks mysteriously transforming into that life-giving sustenance. Roy Thomas and Adrian Gonzales soon take the group underground, for it is there that they will finally be able to accomplish that which they have set out to do – rise up into the castle of Angelica and rescue their friend and mentor Malagigi. The battle against Angelica, if it can be called as such, turns out to be easy enough at first, but when Arak hesitates, that is when things go sour and as such, the story leaves off with the heroes captured and readers left in suspense as to what will happen next. Unlike previous books, this entire first story would not feature any villains or monsters for the heroes to fight, aside from Angelica towards the end that is, and it all worked perfectly as the tellers of this tale were able to make it both suspenseful and exciting without them. Yet another great issue that would be bookended by another tale featuring Valda and the last part of her current adventure dealing with Pip, the king’s first-born son and a plot to overthrow Carolus Magnus which Pip regretted ever taking part in. With artwork by the same team as the rest of the book, it would not only read great but would look just as such and it was good to see Valda come out on top once more, proving herself invaluable to king and court. With this being the last Valda tale, at least for now, Thomas and company made it a good one to go out on.

4 out of 5

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