Angelica, once the Witch Queen of White Cathay, stands revealed as the woman who rules all in this strange land, saved from Albracca’s timeless grip by the Lord of Serpents and the woman who has sent Satyricus and Valda to their deaths. While Arak cannot believe his eyes, he knows that what he sees to be true. What is most fascinating is that Angelica has not lost her desire for Arak and while there are men that would crumble after receiving a single glance from her, Arak is not such a person, his friends the only thing on his mind. So it is that Angelica gives him a quest, to find the herb of eternal life, something even the Lord of Serpents would not grant her, and if successful, she will raise his friends from death. Arak agrees and so it is that Roy and Dann Thomas along with Tony DeZuniga send the hero on an epic quest and it not only feels like an epic but looks like one too thanks to DeZuniga’s incredible artistry. Whether it be through mountains or darkness, through fiery hell or scorching desert where water once flowed, the book takes not only Arak on a journey but the reader as well. Of course, there is some conflict present as well for one could not actually expect Arak to only face the elements, and so a physical threat in the form of two scorpion people is made manifest and it is a battle that Arak nearly loses. The only thing that saves the man is the fact that he is the Son of Thunder and being as such grants him a pass beyond so that he might find the herb he so desperately needs. The only other person to go where Arak must go was the man named Gilgamesh many years previous and even then, he was not fortunate enough to succeed in his quest as Thomas relates his story to readers in addition to everything else that is going on. Overall, this episode had everything one could want from a book such as this, going all out and giving readers one of the best issues in the entire series. From the return of a villain culled from the beginning of Arak’s adventures to the most trying quest of his entire life, this issue was perfection from start to finish and made for incredibly great reading.
5 out of 5