Characters Appearing: Darkhold Dwarf, Diabolique, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Louise Hastings, Modred the Mystic, Nash Salvato, Sam Buchanan, Victoria Montesi, Will 'Jinx' Hastings
Issue(s): Darkhold #13, Darkhold #14
Issue #13 has a demon going around to what turns out to be all the locations where we've seen the Darkhold Redeemers pick up a Darkhold page, and draining the life from people.
Can't imagine what that lady thought her boyfriend was doing to make the seat wet.
The demon leaves some of its victims alive, giving them a message that they think is "Monstrosity".
We jump back in time to a day earlier. One thing we see is Jinx's powers continuing to develop.
During that flashback, we also learn that Victoria Montesi has been visiting her girlfriend Nash at the hospital. But she was confronted by Nash's parents, who don't approve of their relationship.
In the hospital's parking lot, Victoria is approached by the Darkhold Dwarf, who offers her a Darkhold page. We don't see her reaction, and jump ahead to her returning to the other Redeemers, in time for Jinx to call her a "D-Ykes" and to learn that Louise Hastings is going to Rome to find the gateway that has been powering the Darkhold pages.
Sam Buchana learns that Victoria is a lesbian through that exchange. He's been harboring a crush on her, so he's upset to learn that "what she wants, no man can give".
Sam Buchanan figures out the pattern of the demon attacks and tries to go after it on his own. He finds one of the victims and learns that the demon is really saying "Montesi", not "monstrosity". He assumes it means that demon is after Vicki. The demon next attacks the Redeeemers' home...
...and Jinx is badly injured before Sam drives it off.
But then Victoria arrives, looking pretty demonic herself.
Or, as Sam sees it, angelic. Victoria pulls the soul out of Jinx and kisses it, and he returns to life, fully healed.
Meanwhile, Louise Hastings, in the Vatican's library, comes across information showing that the Cypress Hills Cemetary has been a location of mystical activity since pre-colonial days. She wonders if it could be the site of the Darkhold gate. She's then approached by a young girl (who we know to be Diabolique) who leads her to the office of Victoria's father, Vittorio (who is on vacation). Diabolique disappears, but in the office Hastings finds information that Vittorio isn't Victoria's biological father (he's sterile).
Back with the other Redeemers, Sam questions the price of the new powers that Victoria has. He then learns that Jinx has been getting mystical training from Modred (Jinx is disappointed that Modred has only taught him to meditate so far, not to "blow things up").
In an understandable panic since half of his team is making Faustian bargains, Sam contacts Louise and tells her to get home. He's then approached by the Darkhold Dwarf himself. We later learn that Sam didn't use the page, and the Dwarf isn't happy about it.
Meanwhile, the "Monstrosity" demon attacks a doctor checking in on Nash. The Redeemers go to investigate just as Louise gets home. The demon has been attacking everyone at the hospital except Nash. Eventually it comes out that the demon is a part of Victoria, draining the life from others to grant her healing ability.
The soul of Nash rises up, seeming to confirm what Louise is saying. And Victoria turns and denies the demon, casting it back to Ch'thon.
Louise doesn't yet tell Victoria what she learned about her "father". The Montesis are supposed to be incorruptible, so for the time being Victoria is left wondering how she could have succumbed to a Darkhold page.
At the end of this issue, the Redeemers get a call from Blaze, who lets them know that Lilith is back, a set-up for the Siege of Darkness crossover.
Quality Rating: C
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: Louise Hastings goes to Rome in issue #13, which is where it's said that she is in Midnight Sons Unlimited #3. So Midnight Sons Unlimited #3 takes place during issue #13. But see the Considerations for Midnight Sons Unlimited #3. A portion of this story must take place before that issue (enough to allow Hastings to go to Rome) but the rest must take place afterwards, since Johnny Blaze is not a cyborg in that story but she comes back in Road to Vengeance, at which point Blaze becomes a cyborg.
It's also worth noting that Blaze's message is that Lilith is "back" but at the start of Siege of Darkness, Blaze is trying to convince everyone that Lilith is dead (and they're skeptical because there's no body). That seems to be a coordination error on the part of the creators involved in the crossover, but it may help with placement. We can say that Blaze is calling the Redeemers here sometime during Road to Vengeance, when she really is "back", and that this therefore doesn't necessarily have to end directly before Siege of Darkness. This helps to fit in the Redeemers appearance in Morbius #13, which takes place after Road to Vengeance but can't take place while Hastings is in Rome.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Oh, for crying out loud. Incorruptible or not, it was plain stupidity on Vicki's part to use that page... She's seen all of the crap Darkhold leads to - and yet, she accepts a page? Come on!
Posted by: Piotr W | March 3, 2017 5:13 PM
@Piotr- As we'll see soon, Vicki and the Darkhold have more in common than she knows, so that might have something to do with why she used it. But yeah, I had to laugh at the Dwarf asking Sam why he hasn't used the page, since after all that Sam has seen, he'd have to be crazy to use the page.
Posted by: Michael | March 3, 2017 7:47 PM
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