“The Darklens Gems”
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: John Buscema

Tyndall, Velanna and Mud-Butt are enjoying a meal in the tavern when the warning goes out that the Dark Riders are in town. They usually come only to hunt someone. A mysterious figure in a cloak decides to get up and leave in a hurry. He bumps into Mud-Butt and knocks his head into his fork as he is lifting it. This causes a fight that tears the cloak off and reveals the person as the savage elf they helped earlier in the last issue. He is obviously the one the Dark Riders are hunting for they take off after him.

Tyndall decides to help him but they are too late to save the elf. They do manage to take his pouch with a plea to get it to Zarthon. The three then run away and are lead by a white wolf to an inn. The innkeeper gives them a safe room and the trio discover the pouch is full of five gems. At night the gems become demon wraiths but the white wolf comes and defeats them. In the morning they find out from the innkeeper where Zarthon is located.

So they go to a house build above a lake in a crater. There Zarthon tells them the gems are the Darklens gems. These gems hold the soul of the evil wizard that created the Weirdworld. His soul can be released by the silver light of the moon and his minions the Dark Riders are searching for these gems to release him.

“How This Book Came to Be”
By Unknown.

An article on how the artwork is done from the drawing to the coloring. A dry article.

“The Stuff of Which Dreams are Made”
By Richard Marshall

An article on the history of fantasy illustration in the US. Another dry article.

“A John Buscema Scrapbook”

Some samples of John’s early sketches for this book.

The second issue is another masterpiece. What is most stunning is the artwork. There are several full page drawing and they just look awesome. The full page spread for both Zarkon’s place from both outside and inside is just a thing of beauty. The story of course is also great. The trio are moving to a big confrontation for the fate of the world which is what these type of stories should be about. An abrupt ending but this was originally written to be one issue. I think it was a great idea to break it up. It allows for the stunning full page artwork which makes this such a treat.

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