Arak: Son of Thunder – A Lost Adventure

A lost adventure comprising issues #69-73 of Arak: Son of Thunder written by Roy Thomas, drawn by Ron Randall and Ernie Colón with colours by Adrienne Roy and lettering by John Costanza.

When last seen, Arak and Satyricus were setting sail for the new world in order to find his missing people, those whom he thought dead long years past and only recently finding out that they did indeed still live.

That would set Arak upon his current path with Satyricus by his side while Valda and Malagigi went upon theirs, a duty to fulfill before they could all be reunited once more. And that would happen, though it would be quite some time before it did, each set of companions having many adventures between what was and what was going to be. Eventually, Arak would find his tribe, wanderers though they had become and he would take up the role of the shaman they needed and the leader who would take them home. He would make peace with his father He-No and after a time, defeat the Serpent Lord and all, as they say, would be made right with the world.

That would be a long ways off though and there would be many adventures and quests taken before that would come to pass, one of which would find Arak and Satyricus finally nearing their destination after long months at sea, months made even longer due to obstacles erected in their path by the Lord of Serpents. With land in sight, the sixty-ninth issue of Arak’s title would begin by seeing them blown off course to a land of ice and snow, their ship wrecked beyond repair. Unable to see little more than a foot in front of them due to the raging storm, things would change dramatically within minutes as sunshine would envelop them, leaving the book on a cliff-hanger which would lead to a four-issue storyline that Roy Thomas would simply call ‘Through Space and Time.’

The tale would find Arak and Satyricus strangers in a strange land, surrounded by unknown foliage and monstrous creatures. Unbeknownst to them, they had arrived in Skartaris, a hidden land that should not exist and it would see the two meeting its most popular resident, one Travis Morgan. As most readers would guess, Arak and the Warlord would battle it out after a bit of a misunderstanding between Satyricus and Shakira, the former’s attention not welcome upon the latter. Everything of course would soon work out and after a little talk and a little help from one Jennifer Morgan and her mystical abilities, Arak would be on his way home but not before Deimos would insert himself into the picture. Deimos, having learned of Arak’s arrival, curious as to just who the red-skinned man was and where it was he came from, had sensed that there was something different about him and quite possibly an opportunity to rule in a land that was still young and without one such as Travis Morgan around. Jennifer’s spell is interrupted and Arak, Satyricus and Deimos disappear in a flash.

Thomas along with artists Ron Randall and Ernie Colón would begin the next issue on Gemworld, the two companions unconscious with Deimos lying not six feet away in the same condition. With the parties soon coming to, a quick battle between the three is all but a certainty with Arak’s newfound shaman powers helping him put a bruising upon Deimos which he was unprepared for. This would lead to Deimos making a strategic exit and eventually teaming up with Dark Opal, a joining of forces that could only mean trouble to more than just Gemworld and Arak. Arak himself would meet up with a new ally as well by chance, the one and only Princess Amethyst and it would not be long before Thomas and company would have the two sides clash. Amethyst being as kind and giving as any person would have Citrina open a portal through which Arak might get back home and leave things off with he and Satyricus walking through it into the unknown.

Expecting to have arrived back on Earth, Arak and Satyricus instead find themselves somewhere else, a place they soon come to know as Pytharia. Arriving with them though they know it not is Deimos who still believes that following Arak back to his era on Earth is where he will gain his black heart’s desire. Though his magic might be strong, Deimos knows that he will need a little something extra in order to accomplish his goals and he senses that in yet another stranger he spies, a man who wears a red gauntlet by the name of Valcan or more popularly, Claw. Events conspire along with Thomas and Randall to bring all of these men together, Arak being put on the sidelines at one point during the issue, leaving Claw and Satyricus to face off against the monster called Deimos and see if they can put a stop to the man on their own. That all being well and good, Deimos still manages to siphon a bit of power from the demon hand of Claw to create the portal he believes will lead him to glory, the strangers to Pytharia disappearing as if they were never there leaving Claw to head to the nearest tavern.

In the last part of Through Space and Time, Thomas and company would transport Arak, Satyricus and Deimos back to Earth but a little further back than intended, to ancient Atlantis. Immediately upon arriving, Deimos strikes at those around him including the man called Wynnde, putting him in a coma. Arriving on the scene is none other than Arion, otherwise known as the Lord of Atlantis and together, he and Arak, Satyricus and Lady Chian hunt down Deimos to put a stop to him once and for all. Imprisoned in a magical gem after a battle that would see Arak mortally wound the villain, Arion uses his magics to send the companions home once and for all, the two arriving on the shore they had spied from their ship before being blown off course by the Serpent Lord while Deimos would remain back in Atlantis. As the book ends and tired though they might be, Arak and ever-faithful Satyricus are hopeful, looking forward to exploring this new land and finally discovering just where it is that the Quontauka might be.

The above is but a possibility of what might have been had Thomas and company decided to carry on chronicling the adventures of Arak, Valda, Satyricus and the rest of the cast. The question ‘what if,’ is always in the mind of the reader no matter the book, no matter the story, especially ones such as this where Thomas would tie everything up but leave things wide open for himself or someone else to come back to the property.  In this case, he would let the reader fill in the blanks and as such it could have gone in a million different directions. Endless ‘what if’ scenarios for those that would dwell on it.

While the book could have and should have gone on for at least another fifty or more issues, a combination of factors would bring it to an end as is often the case with most titles. As it turned out, Thomas would have plans to continue the story elsewhere, first in a Valda the Iron Maiden miniseries as drawn by a young Todd McFarlane of which Thomas states no pages were purportedly done and then in a series of novels which would never materialize. It is a bit of a shame that readers would never again get to see Arak in action, never finding his tribe or his potential victory over the Serpent Lord but as long as there is imagination and the ability to question, Arak and all of these wondrous characters have the potential to live forever.

Follow these other great sites for other SBTU articles, this year split into two different topics covering creators and creations and the question ‘What If?’

Between The Pages Blog – Scrooge McDuckTales Woo-oo!

Daves Comics Blog – Blue Devil Creation

Magazines and Monsters – Comic Book’s Unsung Heroes! Steve Gerber!

In My Not So Humble Opinion – Kurt Schaffenberger, The Definitive Lois Lane Artist of the Silver Age

Comics Comics Comics… – Sergio Argones

Pop Culture Retrorama – What If The Sinister Dr. Phibes Had Been Produced!

Source Material – What If Captain Confederacy

Comic Reviews by Walt – What if the Ultraverse Had Continued?

Charlton Hero – What If Peter Parker became Speedball instead of Spider-Man?

4 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.