Issue by Issue – Dark Oz #2

Writer – Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith
Artist – Bill Bryan
Letters – W.A.R. Studios

Despite everything that has been seen and heard thus far, Ozma still has her heart set on visiting the Quadlings and trying to convince them to fall under her rule once again, just like it has always been. A part of her believes that there is still some good in them even though the Wizard and everyone around her thinks it is a waste of time, mainly when they could be concentrating on more pressing matters like the goblins that are slowly invading Oz and killing the subjects that Ozma currently rules. Such as it is, she makes the trip and the Quadlings will essentially, have none of it. In the end, she gets herself shot with an arrow much to the shock of those who have accompanied her and maybe even a little to the Quadlings as well. Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith also manage to pack in a little more drama and action involving the goblins who have of late decimated the Winkies and who now invaded the land of the Gilikins. All this while various leaders sit around and discuss what they should do if the goblins were ever to make their way to their door, unbeknownst to them, the goblins are already here. Things kick into high gear as the realization that they are now under attack by a far superior force seeps into their minds and though help is sent for, by the time it arrives the Gilikins may fair little better than the Winkies did which will be yet another blow to Ozma and Oz as a whole. This was yet another fantastic issue that managed to further things along though it would feature very few of the main players aside from Ozma and the Wizard. It is strange to see Ozma so thickheaded and stubborn and yet, having ruled Oz for so long with nary a problem, aside from those ten years of the Nome King’s rule, it must be hard for her to accept that others will have a different view than hers, that they may not want to follow a queen no matter how good and benevolent she is. There are a number of directions that the authors of this tale can take but considering that they are looking to wrap things up in a few issues, they need to start heading down a path that will accomplish that and there are a lot of things they have to cover in order to do that. As it is, this issue was solid and made even better with the incredible pencils of Bill Bryan whose work is synonymous with the series. Good stuff and a cliffhanger to keep readers coming back for more.

4 out of 5

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