With the Cult of the Serpent rearing its head, there is some question as to who their real target was, not to mention the possibility of a traitor in their midst. Abu Jahl believes it to be Arak, but Alsind knows that not to be true and so for the moment, they must let the matter lie. As it is, Arak receives some words from Jocephus and it is not long before they are off to find the flaming sword of Gabriel, a task that involves a little walking and a little digging but find it they do and while Alsind claims it as his own, it is Arak who grasps ahold of it. Of course, the companions find themselves attacked and it is by horror itself as a giant white worm busts into the cavern where the sword is found and from that worm is birthed another horror in the form of a man whose lower half is that of a snake. It is obvious as to whom the snake-man serves and it is the sword that he wants, something Arak is not willing to surrender. Ron Randall and Rick Magyar serve up some exceptional artwork in this issue, especially when it comes to the battle that Arak now finds himself in, one which he eventually wins though not without a few bruises. Not all is well that ends well though as the flames which engulf the creature’s body from Gabriel’s sword reveals a figure within it, the Lord of Serpents himself. Kidnapping Alsind and his cousin, the Serpent Lord demands the sword in return for them and it is Alsind’s mother who stands revealed as the traitor. Leave it to Roy Thomas and the rest of the creative team to leave readers wanting more with a cliff-hanger that finds Arak angrier than usual. Thomas also serves up a secondary tale that finds a younger Arak once again, this time fishing with his tribe. It is a carefree story and while it seems like it will remain so, there is danger in the water and Arak manages to save the man who might have been his father if He-No had not intervened. From that point on, the young brave gets a bit of a history lesson and an omen from White Snow-Owl. A great book from Thomas, Randall, Forton and company once again.
4 out of 5