Issue by Issue – Oz #20

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

The final issue of Oz finds the Goblins and more specifically the Goblin King looking to expand his power base and he means to use everything at his disposal to do as such. That includes the witch he has under his command but he would sooner do away with her before she becomes too unruly and forgets her place. Suffice it to say that ends up happening as she is far more powerful than any of the goblins or those in the vicinity and she does away with him, thereby anointing herself the Goblin Queen. From a hidden vantage point, Jinjur and Jack Pumpkinhead watch it all unfold and it is not long before they realize that they need to get out of there if they value their lives. As for the rest of their party, that being Lion and Scraps, they have made it safely back to the Emerald City where they meet up with Ozma, Amber Ombi and the rest of those who had stayed behind. Ozma had been determined to head to Quadling country in order to meet with the princes there and sway them back to her rule. Still, upon the arrival of her friends and subjects and hearing the crimes that had been committed by the Quadlings, of the burning and slaughter, of their walls and their alliance with the goblins, she is finally convinced that not all is right with her kingdom no matter how much she wishes things were returning to normal. As Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith and Tim Holtrop continue the story, they return to Jinjur and Jack who are currently on the run and despite their best efforts, they run into trouble or more specifically, trouble catches up to them. The two heroes do their best against the goblins but when all is said and done, tragedy strikes, Jack Pumpkinhead lies dead, and the book ends untimely. As a regular issue, the creative team does everything right once again and yet as a final issue, it leaves things on a cliffhanger which is a little sad, especially considering that nobody knew if the series would continue or not beyond this point with no end to the current storyline. Thankfully, Arrow Comics would pick things up with their Dark Oz title and wrap things up and that would be a good thing but it is sad that Caliber would be unable to finish things off themselves. The story was captivating and full of action and Holtrop would do a great job on the art making it a definite must-read. With the demise of Jack, one has to wonder if he is truly gone or if Ozma will somehow be able to bring him back but if there is one thing that is for sure, finding out how this ends is a must.

4 out of 5

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