Issue by Issue – Oz #18

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

With things finally going back to a somewhat normal state of affairs in Oz, the Quadlings have declared their independence which is eventually made all too clear when the scouting party of Jack Pumpkinhead, Jinjur, Lion and Scraps discover a gigantic wall surrounding their kingdom. The companions cannot believe their eyes but after knocking on the proverbial door, they are greeted with anger and violence and know it to be all too true. While they are preoccupied with that, the Quadling princes are out and about, searching for the Lion in order that he pays for the death of their father, the King. They are so obsessed with revenge that they will do whatever it takes and there is a bit of tragedy that makes the reader a little angry as it seemed so unnecessary, those who stood in the way of the Quadlings simply advocating for peace. In perhaps the most interesting part of the book, Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith finally bring a bit of Wonderland to the book, long hinted at, in the form of the Rabbit who has made a minor trade with Mombi who is looking to get a little revenge as well. How far she goes and what she aims to do to cement her rule over the fabled land will be quite intriguing to see. The final bit of the book finds the other search party, those looking for the Fountain of Youth with Dorothy doing a little practicing with bows and arrows when they are attacked by Kalidahs. Ordinarily, this would be nothing of note as it has been seen many times in previous issues but Griffith and Kerr change things up a little in a very logical way by having the Kalidahs talk. If every other creature in Oz is able to speak, why not them? As it stands, the Kalidahs are defeated as they are still trying to kill everyone present but they do leave a bit of knowledge with the party, that magic from Oz created them and then they were banished and now all they know is hate, hate for all of those in the land of Oz. This was a great book, one packed to the gills with a story for readers to digest and one that would paint bad tidings for the land of Oz and those that would reside in the Emerald City. With Tim Holtrop coming into his own, all of this would look good too and give readers some exciting scenes to go along with the tale provided. Definitely, an issue that makes readers want to see what comes next.

4 out of 5

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