After following a lead to Emil Winter’s warlock emporium, the Red Panda (a.k.a. millionaire gadabout town August Fenwick) and his spunky sidekick, the Flying Squirrel (a.k.a. his driver Kit Baxter) come across Stern, a competitor of Winter’s, also in search of the elusive Amulet of the Aztec God Nanahuatl. Broken in two, it’s said that once rejoined, it will give its bearer the power of the sun itself. But, before they can interrogate him, Stern is shot dead by a mysterious dark-clad man . . . who now has them at gunpoint.
Dealing with Nazi spies and roaming V’rahill demons, Fenwick and Kit find themselves drawn deeper into a mystery that pits them against agents of the Council of Mages and a mage who can bend space and time to his own deeds, while harnessing the power of the Nanahuatl Amulet . . . and threatening the entire world.
Gregg Taylor’s writing and Dean Kotz’s artwork continue to shine in this issue, working perfectly in tandem to keep the story moving at a brisk, entertaining pace. And, the interplay between Fenwick and Kit continues to delight and endear. After letting Kit . . . interrogate a witness, he gives her a Japanese short sword to protect herself on the next step of their mission, and the look on her face is the same as when other women get jewelry. How can you not like a book like this?
And now, the bad news . . .
This is the last issue of Mask of the Red Panda. No new issue next month.
Luckily, writer Gregg Taylor is quick to point out that their adventures are still available in radio format at www.decoderringtheatre.com and carry them through the 1930s Depression and into WWII, as well as Tales of the Red Panda in novel form, and that new projects are in the works for our intrepid crime-fighting duo. And, artist Dean Kotz will be returning in the fall with a new mini-series from Ape Entertainment, which should be a treat for all of us who have grown to appreciate his talented pages. And, give a shout-out to Chris and Allison at Monkeybrain Comics (www.monkeybraincomics.com) for bringing out such great creator-owned comics.