When this issue begins, it finds the Son of Thunder dead, killed by a giant beast with Satyricus crying over his lifeless body. It is tragic indeed but as one can guess, the story does not simply end there as Roy Thomas takes readers on a climb to the top of a mountain with his hero. It is at the peak where Arak comes upon a sight to behold, as there is a man who wrangles the storm itself, a person who can only be He-No and father to the man who has just made the torturous climb. It is here that readers learn of Arak’s past as they are taken on a journey introducing his mother and of how she was attacked by a horned serpent and of how He-No ended up saving her. It would not be long before the two would fall in love and Star-of-Dawn would end up pregnant with his child, but staying with He-No would be another matter as she missed her people. So would she return to Earth, forsaking He-No and it would bring both happiness for many years, but also doubt in some of those of the tribe as they believe Arak to be the son of the serpent and not of the thunder. What follows is the boy becoming a young man, a man filled with dreams of portent dark and dire, of the serpent encircling the tribe and Arak being carried off on the back of another. So it is that readers are made privy to the destruction of the Quontauka tribe and of He-No’s battle with the Snake-Spirit which would keep him otherwise occupied from helping them. It saddens Arak and he has questions, especially about the remnants of the tribe which have found themselves becoming wanderers and so Arak forsakes his father as well, wanting to return to his life so that he might help his people. Thomas and Ron Randall tell a good tale, one different than most which have peppered the series and it finally introduces He-No as a character rather than just a referenced figure always off-page. As for the relationship between father and son, when it comes to the finale of the book, it could be a bit better, but things have a way of working out and it looks like no matter what might have been said, that bond still exists.
4 out of 5