Issue by Issue – Oz: Romance in Rags #2

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

Scraps has stolen the Shaggy Man’s Love Magnet so that she might accomplish two things with her small crime. The first is to stop the Freedom Fighters from using it to kill the Scarecrow as she does not want to see the man she loves put to death for being the way he is, all of it thanks to the Nome King. The second is to see if she can use it to break through the enchantment, that maybe her love in addition to the magic in the object might bring back the old Scarecrow, that he might come back to himself for her. As for the rest of the Freedom Fighters, they do some more talking and some more planning and it is not long before they discover that Scraps has run off with the magnet. Now they need to readjust, to either catch up to her and get the magnet back or to think of something else. Going along on this expedition is Amber Ombi, Jinjur, Shaggy Man and Jack Pumpkinhead who is still a little raw over the fact that the Nome King has his mom – Ozma, imprisoned. Suffice it to say, they are far too late for the Patchwork Girl has already entered the den of the enemy and the Scarecrow is intrigued by his guest and for just a moment, he does come back to himself, the old him breaking through at the arrival of the woman he loves. It is just a moment though that passes in an instant and while he is happy at her arrival and she is happy to see him, Scraps realizes that the Scarecrow is indeed not the same but staying is what she will do and she will continue to try and save him. For his part, the Scarecrow is looking not only to raise an army of scarecrows but to have a son and with Scraps as his queen, to have a proper kingdom. Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith weave a dense tale but a good one, packed to the gills with intrigue and hurt feelings as well as grand plans. Some might come to fruition but some will not and with the Patchwork Girl already in the palace of the enemy, things are not going to be easy. When the Scarecrow makes the declaration that Scraps is to be his queen and the father to his son, the Freedom Fighters cannot help but be astounded as there is a lot to unpack in that announcement. For readers, it leaves the book on a fantastic cliffhanger, ensuring that whatever is to follow is going to be quite exciting should the creators of this tale bring it all home on a successful note. With Bill Bryan delivering some great pencils to top it off, this book is yet another win for all involved.

4.5 out of 5

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