|There's no excuse for poetry that doesn't rhyme.|
Small haul this week:
The Knights, along with King Arthur, make their way further into the tower, seeking a way to Avalon before they realise, all too late, that it's a trap, Madame Xanadu at the last realising who has set it: Morgaine le Fey, age old enemy of Camelot. Determined to leech the life force of the Knights and use it to power the dead body of Merlin whose mind she will inhabit, she leaves the Knights to be drained by her magic. With a combination of Etrigan's magic and Arthur's sacrifice, though, her plans are ruined but as her tower is destroyed, so too the path to Avalon is gone and with it all pretence of Etrigan's humanity and friendship.
Another excellent issue full of smiles and genuine drama with a cliffhanger made all the more teasing as we have to wait until after next month's issue 0 to find out what happens next.
Frankenstein kills the Leviathan, freeing the hundreds of imprisoned ex-S.H.A.D.E. operatives along the way, although they remain contained in the Leviathan's graveyard. Determined to find the mole, he eventually tracks him down to be the keeper of Satan's Ring (stop sniggering at the back), a device that tells the future and which had told him Frankenstein would kill him which he does. The Ring goes berserk, raising a dead Leviathan which Frankenstein then kills before he's healed by the ex-operatives he freed earlier, just in time to face an army of the Rot led by his creator, Victor Frankenstein.
Honestly, this is all a bit rushed. Kindt has a handle on Frank's dialogue and the story's not bad but it smacks more of a four or five issue story crushed into three. The flashbacks Frank's been having are done away with in an instant, rendering them meaningless and Victor's return comes out of the blue. It's not terrible by any means, but a little better pacing would be appreciated.
Kassandra, last seen imprisoned in the past, recounts her story of how she escaped, living through the ages, determined to wreak revenge upon Baron Winters. Over centuries, she discovers and nurtures the dormants, those people with special powers who she and her growing band of compatriots interbreed so that, generations hence, they will produce offspring capable of destroying the world. Winters, currently imprisoned in 1648, manages to escape and rescue his Night Force in order to ready them for the final confrontation.
This is really exposition-heavy! But still, the art of Tom Mandrake more than makes up for the fact that the whole issue is basically Kassandra telling how she got to the present.
Mitch wakes up in Gotham where he quickly meets the Batman and the rest of the Justice League who promptly... kill him? Turns out he's in a virtual reality set-up as Director Hooker attempts to harvest the nanites that allow him to be resurrected. Realising he's been played, the Transhuman breaks Kim out of her prison and together they set out to free Mitch from the VR prison. Unfortunately, this incurs the wrath of the hitherto unseen boss of the Lab who arrives to take care of things in person, leading to one heck of a cliffhanger.
Another cracking issue and, again, it's a shame that this is finishing. Sure, they twist at the end isn't anything new (the same sort of thing was done another DC title a few months ago) but it was done well. Sad to see this end.
And what made me smile:
Vandal Savage - you gotta love him!