Issue by Issue – Oz #15

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

With this issue, Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith and Bill Bryan finally bring things to a head as the Freedom Fighters, Dorothy and her companions and Queen Ozma finally come face to face with the Nome King and it is here they finally defeat him. Defeat though, is not quite what it sounds like as they never actually get to battle him. After confronting him, the Nome King starts to make an escape or a strategic retreat which would be more apt as he has lost nothing but Oz and all of his allies but as he tells them, he was able to do it quite easily and to hold it for over a decade, he could very well do it again. The king of the Flying Monkeys looks to stop him and pays the ultimate price and when Abella does the same, he almost loses a hand. As it is, the Nome King escapes less an eye thanks to the Scarecrow and where is the question, though if one were to guess, it would be back to his kingdom. It is a happy day for all involved though also a sad one due to the tragedy that took place and while Ozma would appreciate it if the Monkeys were to stay and celebrate with them, she understands that they have to head back to their own kingdom to mourn and to get things back in order before they ever show their faces back in Oz again. As for the rest of the Freedom Fighters, they have to try and figure out what to do now, how to move forward and learn to live a life of peace again like Jack Pumpkinhead for one. As for those who came to Oz from Earth – that being Mary, Peter, Kevin and Max the dog, it looks as if they are going to head back even though Amber Ombi would prefer it if Mary stay, the feelings between them are unresolved though there is something there. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of questions still lingering, yet one of them gets an answer as the Wizard finally returns, whatever magic there had been that was keeping him locked out of Oz, now gone. To top it all off, the writers of this tale introduce a new mystery, a new threat that will keep the Freedom Fighters on their toes, though should they even be called Freedom Fighters going forward is yet another question to be answered sometime in the next few issues. With some great artwork from Bryan who really gives this book a truly unique feel, it is nice to see some of these storylines wrapped up but even better to see there are plans to keep things moving along.

4 out of 5

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