The covers: Seven different covers for this final issue in the series. The Main cover is by Joe Benitez. Against the typical mechanical gears in this series of Main covers, Zorro and Sonja stand back to back. All I can think is ‘They look really cool.’ He looks like he’s ready to roll, while she looks somewhat indifferent, but I know better. Great art and great coloring. As with the previous issues, there are two Incentive Character Key covers by Johnny Desjardins, with one featuring the Six Thousand Dollar Man and the other Zorro. The previous covers have been amazing and these are equally impressive. There is a also a Travel poster, this time for the Principality. It’s very much a propaganda poster showing three military men underneath text that states, “One People. One Power. One Principality.” It’s an okay poster by Desjardins, but a better cover is the exact image after Zorro has left his trademark upon it. That’s just brilliant! There’s a rare cover by Sergio Fernandez Davila featuring all ten heroes and it’s a solid conglomeration. A better cover is the Cards, Comics and Collectibles exclusive, also by Davila, showing all ten, but on a mountainside. I like this better because they all are proportionate to each other. Overall grade: Main A+, Incentive Character Keys both A+, Travel B, Zorroed Travel A, Rare B, and Cards, Comics and Collectibles A-
The story: I have enjoyed every issue of this series, but this finale left me hollow. “A Feast of Souls” by Bill Willingham opens a month after last issue with Zorro and Sonja traveling through the Principality by train, noticing the many troops on board, an obvious build up for an invasion. Posing as husband and wife, the pair ride with some mounted troops, and all is good until Sonja decides to make a change. This was unexpected and exciting, but then the story goes back to the Big City’s gathering of villains, and nothing comes of these four pages. That’s the problem with this story: it promises more adventures to come, but concludes so abruptly and solidly I wonder if there will be more. Imagine the original Star Wars ending at the escape from the Death Star, Raiders of the Lost Ark closing out after the car chase in Egypt, or The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ending with the dragon flying off to the village and the audience not seeing the battle…Oh, wait. That’s exactly how this series concludes. I felt completely let down and frustrated with this tacked on conclusion. It’s as if Willingham and Dynamite said, “Whatever!” An utterly dismal, disappointing, and disastrous ending. Overall grade: D-
The art: I was also let down by the art. It’s good, but not as highly detailed as in previous installments. Sergio Fernandez Davila opens the issue in fine fashion with a train making its way through a countryside, but things become odd on Page 3. The bottom panel has awkward perspective in play for the antagonists–they’ve become squat. Page 4’s first panel has the primary antagonist stretch out to a more realistic height. However, things get odd again in the bottom panel: What’s that cloud of dust? It’s not obscuring the horses’ legs, and it seems like a cloud of magical origin; plus our two heroes have now become as squat as the villains on the previous page. When action occurs things radically improve. Though once in the Big City backgrounds disappear. This is simply not at the same quality as all previous issues. Overall grade: C
The colors: Wes Hartman’s colors are the book’s highlights. Page 2 shows him using colors to highlight an individual’s past and it looks dreamy. When the initial battle breaks out Page 6 he uses gorgeous roses, violets, and oranges to accentuate Sonja’s fury. My favorite work of Hartman’s are the fourth and fifth panels on Page 13–I just love those greens that are perfect for the setting. Overall grade: A
The letters: Rob Steen provides gorgeous scene setting fonts, the title and credits, villains and hero identifiers, and Sonja narration. He, too, has done a fine job. Overall grade: A
The final line: What happened? This series was a classic in the making that fell part in the final issue. I have never encountered a book that ended so suddenly and incompletely. This makes me wish I had never read this title. Overall grade: C-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.