Issue by Issue – Oz #13

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

This book continues on three fronts, much like the previous issue did with Ralph Griffith and Stuart Kerr telling the tale of those who are looking to get back their homeland and those who are looking to keep it. All of it begins innocently enough as Ozma arrives in the land of the Munchkins with Wogglebug and she is greeted as one might expect a queen to be. It warms her heart to no end and they pledge allegiance to her and the army that she is raising in order to restore her to the throne and oust the usurper, sending him back where he came from. As for Dorothy and Peter, they are still underground dealing with the trolls and while they eventually make their way past, they have no idea that Ozma is already freed and even less of an idea of just what they might be walking into. Finally, the authors of this book along with the ever-dependable Bill Bryan take readers on a trip to the Emerald City where the Freedom Fighters are looking to bring their plans to fruition without the need for an army. Be that as it may, things are not going to be as easy as they think as Mombi is waiting for them. As it turns out, Mombi is not just some two-bit witch as many believe her to be. She is powerful indeed and manages to hold off the entire company of players that have entered the palace with surprising ease. Be that as it may, her defeat or at least a temporary one comes at the hands of Freedom Fighter who was not stopped by the spell and a very shocking one at that. This reveal might be a little shocking for readers given what has happened during the last twelve issues, especially given there were very few clues as to this particular character doing what he ends up doing but in the afterword to the story, it is explained that this is not a new thing in Oz, it having been shown in some of the later books. For those that never read past the first book or only watched the movie this was probably out of the blue but in the end, it sort of makes sense and is a welcome surprise as it adds a whole new facet to some of the proceedings that have previously taken place. Taking all of these things together, Bryan, Kerr and Griffith have created yet another fantastic issue that keeps the reader glued to the pages, from the first to the last. As it is, the Nome King is going to get his, it just remains to be seen when that happens to be.

4 out of 5

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