Issue by Issue – Oz #9

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

The Nome King is a little peeved off and is just the tiniest bit angry and all of it has to do with Ozma and her refusal to give in to his ‘charms’. He knows that if she does, should she agree to be his wife, then his rule over Oz will be cemented for all time for she is the key to legitimacy. Right now he is just the conquerer but with her, he could truly be the king of all he surveils. There is also the matter of Peter, newly consigned to his dungeons and the Nome King knows that there is something to the boy and if anyone can get it out of him, it may just be Mombi. Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith and Bill Bryan also look at what Kevin and his travelling companions are doing, which just so happens to be little of nothing. After failing to get into the Emerald City and losing Peter, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion are debating their next move and the only thing they can agree on, after a fashion, is getting Peter back. How to do that though remains a mystery. As for the Freedom Fighters, they still remain split into two groups, though they start to come together as Wogglebug, Monkey and the Gump have returned with news that is a little disappointing in nature as the Winged Monkeys will not be joining them anytime soon. The creators of this story then send the reader right into the thick of it as the pace picks up exponentially and it is the most exciting part of the book as Amber Ombi, Jinjur and Jack Pumpkinhead are still fighting off the giant spiders they discovered in the last issue. While they had hoped to make it to the Emerald City, these spiders present more than a bit of a problem and at the moment, they might not make it out alive. As it is, Jack Pumpkinhead decides to sacrifice himself in order that the others might get away, what with him not being able to be poisoned but Amber Ombi refuses to lose any more people and so jumps back into the fray. The book comes to an end with a confrontation that has been a long time in the coming, one that was hinted at in the pages of the various Oz Specials – a clash between the Freedom Fighters and those who used to be the three Evil Kings of Oz, now obviously no longer under the Nome King’s spell. With every passing issue, things continue to ramp up, and continue to get more exciting and this issue is definitely one of the best yet.

4 out of 5

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