Issue by Issue – Dark Oz #3

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

Things are not going very well for the travellers who had been looking for the fountain of youth and thereby ended up at Glinda’s castle. It seems that in all the years she has been gone, the Scarecrow’s erstwhile son Stitch has made it his own and has been doing that which his father started long ago – raising a straw man army. For his part, Scarecrow is taken aback at it all, first by the fact that he has a son and that he is so evil and second that it was his plan to raise an army and rid the land of Oz of all those made of flesh. No matter how he tries to explain it to Stitch though, his son will have none of it and when Stitch decides that Scarecrow’s friends are holding him back, he dumps the Tin Man in a well. As for the rest of the cast, they have been strung up and incapacitated but thanks to the timely arrival of the Gump, they are soon free and look to get themselves out of the mess they find themselves in and get back to their quest. The creators of this book, those being Stuart Kerr, Ralph Griffith and Bill Bryan craft another cracking tale that entertains from beginning to end and it turns out to be the most exciting issue thus far under the Dark Oz banner. Stitch makes for a great villain, far more than one might have thought when first introduced during the Caliber years and he is of a single mind at this point in time. Even his father, whom he puts on a pedestal over all others holds no sway over him and if unchecked, Stitch will unleash a horror upon Oz never seen before. While the first half of the book moves along at a steady pace, the second half picks up exponentially as Scarecrow’s friends manage to escape and take the fight to Stitch and his army of straw men. Though it might seem hopeless as the army of straw can feel no pain, there is one thing that evens the playing field and that is fire which is used to great effect. Soon enough, everything is aflame and all of those that were held captive are now free but there is one person missing and that is Dorothy. Those outside believe she is stuck inside the burning castle though one has to think that she escaped somehow. Thrilling is just one word to describe how good this story has become and the authors of this tale have been doing their utmost to make each issue better than the last and for readers, it has been a joy to behold.

4.5 out of 5

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