Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #24

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

In a double-sized anniversary epic called Twixt Gog and Magog, Roy Thomas and Adrian Gonzales begin things in hell, at least of a sorts as Arak and Angelica are still in Baphomet’s realm.  It is here that she tries to seduce Arak, to keep him by her side forevermore while the world burns and even goes so far as to convince him his people still live.  Back in White Cathay, there are numerous goings-on taking place as Johannes and Malagigi look to figure out some way to stop the Gog and Magog while Satyricus tries to find some way to rescue Valda from Haakon who holds both her and Kallinikos prisoner.  While the latter is successful, the former duo not so much.  Gonzales and Thomas pack the book with a lot of action and more than enough excitement for three books and it eventually finds Arak returned to Earth and the two armies woken from their slumber, with time transforming them into gigantic monsters.  A plan is finally hatched between the various people assembled, though Angelica remains absent, and it all comes down to a desperate plan involving Kallinikos and the Sea Fire that only he knows how to concoct.  All that remains is a need for water and that means rain which involves prayers to any and all gods that might be listening.  Readers will see Arak do just that, praying to He-No of whom he just might be the son of and just like that, it pours down from the heavens as if it has never rained before.  Throwing sacks of that special mixture which creates Sea Fire, Arak and Haakon make short work of the Magog, leaving only the Gog and it requires teamwork and sacrifice from all of them if they are to defeat it.  Even Satyricus manages to show some bravery throughout, the Satyr managing to overcome his fears to both help Valda and to play an integral part in the Gog’s destruction.  When the battle’s end eventually comes, that is when Thomas returns Angelica into the mix, the witch-queen looking to rule over her people once more now that there are no obstacles in her path except those she has defeated before and will do so again if she must.  Things do not work out exactly that way though as Arak manages to once again save the day and the creators of this book, end the issue not with death or defeat, but with a little forgiveness and a bit of humour making for an exceptionally well-rounded story.  This was a tale that had everything one could have wanted including the kitchen sink, not only wrapping up numerous storylines but planting the seeds for another with incredible execution throughout.


5 out of 5

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