Characters Appearing: Death's Head II (Minion), Hulk, Killpower, Termagaira, Tuck
Battletide II #1-4
Issue(s): Battletide II #1, Battletide II #2, Battletide II #3, Battletide II #4
The villain is the demonic "hate-storm", the Battletide. He's now followed Death's Head II back to Earth with intentions of destroying it. A lot of the story is about exploring the origin of the Tempered Brotherhood, aka the Temploids, that helped the heroes last time. And that doesn't have any long term relevance to the Marvel universe, and it's not that interesting, so i'm not going into details.
The Temploids have learned that the Battletide is headed to Earth (it's initially mistaken for Galactus), so they summon Death's Head to stop it, with Killpower being brought in to help. Tuck is also scooped up, but not Motormouth.
The reason that Death's Head II in particular is chosen is because it's thought that one of the personalities that Death's Head II assimilated when he was Minion, a sorcerer named Bezial, escaped from Death's Head during the original Battletide series and took control of the Battletide. Death's Head II at first doesn't believe that someone could have escaped from his head without him knowing it, but the Temploids are able to demonstrate that Bezial is indeed missing, and that Bezial left a destructive virus inside Death's Head when he fled. A Temploid is assigned to go with Death's Head in order to keep the virus in check (and due to space restrictions, that means Tuck is left behind on the Temploid ship). Before anyone can leave, though, the mind-controlled Hulk shows up.
A combination of the Temploids' "pacification force" and punches from Death's Head II and Killpower knock the Hulk out, and he's put into stasis on the Temploid ship. Death's Head II, Killpower, and the Temploid then head into the Battletide. They're attacked by demon warriors and the Temploid is destroyed. This causes Death's Head's virus to go out of control, leaving Killpower outnumbered. But he's rescued by an archaic Temploid named Gabriel, who also takes up the responsibility of re-stopping the virus.
After they escape the demons, Gabriel explains that the Temploids weren't always a peaceful race, until one day the Battletide arrived at their planet. They fought it and were mostly consumed by it. The ones that survived became the peaceful monks.
The heroes make their way to Bezial, who it turns out has possessed the body of Termagaira (the reigning champion of the Battletide contests in the first series until he was pushed into the Battletide).
A big fight occurs, and it ends with Death's Head II re-assimilating Bezial. He then has Gabriel stop holding the virus in check, the idea being that if he dies Bezial will die too. And Bezial relents and stops the virus.
There's a brief moment of tension because Killpower is thought to have died during the fight, but the Temploids are able to restore him.
This series doesn't have the guest-star appeal of the first Battletide. That makes it less chaotic and gives more space to the characters that do appear. And Geoff Senior's art does look better. But most of these issues are just fights with generic demons so it's kind of a wash. I think a lot hinged on the hope that we'd care about the Battletide and the Temploids, and there's even a lot of suspense around us not seeing Bezial's body leading up to the dramatic reveal that it's... Termagaira, a character that barely made an impression last time. It really feels like a bit of a misfire in the sense that i had an expectation that the Battletide books were Contest of Champions style stories, but aside from the fight with the mind-controlled Hulk (and between the mind-control and the pacifier beam, it's not even good data for a Whoodwin) that's not the case at all. So this isn't terrible, but it really just adds to the glut of mediocre Marvel UK books rather than standing out in any way.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the very beginning of this series, Death's Head II and Tuck are shown raiding an AIM base in South America to learn more about Death's Head's origins.
This should therefore take place between Death's Head II #9-10. It's worth noting that this story isn't mentioned when Hulk and Killpower meet in Hulk #409, but Hulk isn't in control of himself in this story and never learns what's going on.
And Killpower is of course Killpower (and there's no reason why it had to come up).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
FNORD - if it's a sequel, how come it takes place chronologically earlier than the original Battletide series on the 1992 page?
Posted by: clyde | February 8, 2017 1:21 PM
You have Battletide II placed before the first Battletide series.
Posted by: Michael | February 8, 2017 1:24 PM
Thanks guys. It got a little hairy because Tuck can't appear in Battletide (I) until after Death's Head II #6-9 and Battletide II also takes place between Death's Head II #9-10. And i didn't want any other Death's Head II appearances between the issues. So it turns out the Battletides take place in relatively quick succession.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 8, 2017 1:53 PM
What the hell is going on with Hulk's left arm on that splash page? It connects to half the length of his torso.
Posted by: Bob | February 8, 2017 6:27 PM
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