Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #31

Writer – Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas
Artist – Ernie Colon
Inker – Tony DeZuniga
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – David Cody Weiss, John Costanza

What is most interesting about this particular issue of Arak, Son of Thunder is that it is a complete reprint of the story that appeared in Warlord #48, simply repurposed it seems with a new framing sequence to tell an even larger story than was previously told. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for those that might not have read that singular issue of Warlord featuring Arak’s first appearance, it would have been nice to see an all-new adventure featuring the hero of the book. As it is, Ernie Colon returns to the title to provide some new pencils and they definitely represent a new style for the man, the new pages looking far different than those he pencilled a couple of years previously which are represented in this book. As it is, it finds Arak reflecting back on his time with the Vikings and a woman named Amber with whom he was in love with. This directly leads into the original tale as it finds him on a quest to gain a piece of amber specifically bigger than his head if he is to win the hand of the woman he loves and so he sets off to where he has heard he might gain it. What follows is a clearing in which he spies a woman bathing and when he is noticed, she bolts, but Arak being as skilled as he is, manages to stop her. Words are spoken and explanations given, but said woman is kidnapped and Arak knocked unconscious. When he comes to light, he follows the path of the villains to where they hold their captive and it is there that he not only has to do battle with them but with a giant golden creature made from living amber. What is most fascinating about this story is that in the end, while Arak tries to rescue the girl, it is she who rescues him and leaves him with a parting gift, not that he expected one. When he finally returns to his village, he finds that Amber and her master have died and Arak feeling like he missed out on something truly life-changing. Altogether a great story, if one that has for the most part been seen before, but the framing pages fit nicely and built it up into something larger and provided a purpose to it all which was not there when first presented.

4 out of 5

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