Issue by Issue – Oz #17

Writers – Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith
Artist – Tim Holtrop
Inker – Bradley Walton
Letters – Cara Walton

Celebrations still continue to take place within the Emerald City and most are having a good time doing just that. For some, like the Wizard and Amber Ombi, they cannot help but think on more serious matters, meaning those threats to Oz that have not as yet manifested themselves but are out there nonetheless. There are a couple of things that happen within this issue, seeds that are taking root so they might germinate in future issues, the first involving Dorothy and her friends who are going to go in search of the Fountain of Youth that she might gain those years lost to the Nome King back. Additionally, the Wizard and Amber Ombi petition Ozma to form a party to go in search of a volcano that has magically arisen in Oz, believing that it can only portend bad things and after a fashion, Ozma agrees. They will not be the only party that heads out into Oz though, as another gathered by Ozma will go out to map the land, to see what changes have taken place since the Nome King took power. While most of this by Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith seems a little humdrum, perhaps spinning the wheels before things really start to get going, they in fact do get things going in this book as the Goblins attack the Winkies and kill Johnny Doit. It is all quite exciting as the Goblins battle Doit’s robots but in the end, as good as Doit gives it to them, they still manage to kill the man and it is all a bit shocking as it was so out of the blue. One would have to guess that this will be discovered soon and that it will be by the Tin Woodman who used to rule over the Winkies during the time the Nome King was in power though just how it will play out after that is a big question mark that should be interesting to see. Tim Holtrop, the man who took over the artistic duties in the book from Bill Bryan continues to grow into the role with his work looking much better in this issue than it did the last and one could guess that it will only get better still. There is a moment where the authors of this tale introduce the big bad, though as to just who it is, has not yet been revealed though she has to be a witch of some sort given the powers she has. With a lot of things taking place here, more than many might realize at first, the book seems to be ramping up once again which is a good thing for with the land of Oz at peace, while still an intriguing place to be, when it is at odds with something else, it makes things far more interesting and far more exciting.

4 out of 5

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