Issue by Issue – Oz #3

Writers – Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith
Artist – Bill Bryan
Letters – Susan Dorne

With the previous issue, Kevin and Peter had set out to find help from the Scarecrow even though they had been told that he had turned evil. Now they arrive at his palace, so to speak as it is a giant two-hundred-foot barn, and stand before him and they realize that this might not have been the best of ideas. Plain as day, the Scarecrow warns them off, tells them that he will not help and that if they stay he will destroy them. While it does seem funny in one respect, readers most likely remembering just what the Scarecrow is normally like, this Scarecrow is something different – imposing and quietly dangerous. So as one might expect, a fight breaks out and creature of evil that he is, the Scarecrow strikes sending a murder or more of crows at the two men and their dog which would surely strip the skin from their bones had they any less fight in them. As it rages on, Max grabs ahold of the amulet about Scarecrow’s neck and while he gets blasted away, he takes the amulet with him and a very different Scarecrow then stands before them. Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith give readers a bit of a break as they jump back to Mary who has been travelling with Jack Pumpkinhead and readers finally get to see the Freedom Fighters, those who are present at least comprising the Gump, Hungry Tiger, The Winged Monkey, Hammerhead, Wogglebug, Tik Tok, Amber Ombi, Jinjur, Winkies and a few Munchkins. A motley assortment but a group looking to free the land of Oz from the Nome King. As for the King, he is brought news by Mombi about the arrival of a dog, Max specifically and it is not something he wanted to hear. Things get interesting once more towards the end of the book as Scarecrow, Peter, Kevin and Max head out to see the Tin Woodman whom Scarecrow swears up and down could not be evil. Things of course, are not always as one would hope. This was another great issue that continues to ramp up the excitement and go deeper both into Oz lore and into the mystery of what happened for the Nome King to take control of the magical land. So far luck has been on the side of those who came from Earth but the odds are against them as they are unprepared for what awaits them in this strange land. Bill Bryan is onboard once more to deliver some very compelling and engrossing pencils that really pull the reader into the story and it goes hand-in-hand with the tale that is being told by Kerr and Griffith. All in all, a fun ride that ends on a cliffhanger that will ensure readers come back for more.

4 out of 5

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