Issue by Issue – Oz #19

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

Things are heating up on a number of fronts, the first involving Lion and his former kingdom which he discovers has been burned to the ground and his subjects killed. He is enraged and that is putting it lightly. While he knows that he should pay for what he has done in some way despite being under the spell of the Nome King, what has happened due to the Quadling Princes is unforgivable. Back in the Emerald City, word has reached Amber Ombi and the rest of the residents about what is happening in the Quadling kingdom. Amber Ombi is incensed as he knew something like this would happen, and even now, Ozma refuses to hear it. It is only when the Shaggy Man crashes into their assembly and tells them of the Tin Woodman’s kingdom, of the decimation there and of the Winkies, all of whom have been killed. To make matters even worse, it is reported that goblins were responsible and that is finally the thing that pushes Ozma to realize that maybe not all is peaceful within her realm, that the Nome King, despite being gone, is still present in many things. Finally, Ralph Griffith and Stuart Kerr cut to some of the villains of the piece, to the goblins in question who have been making power moves in Oz after being banished for so long. They also manage to reveal to the reader just who the big bad of it all, a witch of great power who was formerly the wicked witches of the East and West, now merged into one being. Though she might not have started all of what is happening, her powers are growing exponentially and she means to rule Oz, all of it and nothing and nobody will be able to stop her. Things are definitely moving forward at a fast pace but with only one issue left to go in this series, one has to wonder just how Kerr and Griffith are going to tie everything up. There is, of course, a sequel series that is supposed to do that but it would be nice to see everything contained within this book and the next series be its own thing. That aside, which is not all that much of a negative, there is nothing to really complain about in this book in the slightest. The writing is as good as ever and Tim Holtrop’s artwork has proved to be a worthy successor for Bill Bryan despite getting off to a rough start. In addition to all of this, there is a lot of good character progression present and it is strange to see Ozma portrayed as such but given everything that is going on, it is no wonder that she is a little perturbed.

4 out of 5

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