Just over a year ago, I wrote my first Amazon review, that being Volume 2 of Fantagraphics' Prince Valiant. I have just completed Volume 5 and I continue to be impressed. Hal Foster was a magnificent artist and knew how to tell a great story. This volume concerns itself with the courtship and early married life of Prince Valiant and Aleta, Queen of the Misty Isles, who might be seen as the star of this volume. There is adventure as Aleta has to deal with being kidnapped by Val, who is in a deranged state. Just as he recovers, she is abducted by a warlord, leading Val to launch a major military effort to save her. They want to marry at Rome, but there is the matter of Vandal raiders getting ready to sack the city. On their way to Camelot, Aleta needs a new wardrobe and Val's expression upon receiving the bill is priceless. Aleta's first meeting with King Arthur is a mutually embarrassing episode, as Aleta is skinny dipping at the time. She disguises herself as a knight, and while comic, she does prove herself quite brave. When Val's father is facing trouble with an old friend, it is Aleta who finds a solution. Besides Prince Valiant, the first part of the book also includes a three-panel strip Foster did called The Medieval Castle, and while not quite as good as Valiant, it is a little gem, focusing on the two sons of a knight. If you are a serious enthusiast of comic strips, this series should be seen as an essential addition to your collection. With its combination of adventure, romance, pathos, humor and especially some of the finest art seen on newspaper pages, the early years of Prince Valiant show the genre at its best.