Knights of Pendragon #6-9
Issue(s): Knights of Pendragon #6, Knights of Pendragon #7, Knights of Pendragon #8, Knights of Pendragon #9
The creature eventually disappeared without Spider-Man ever knowing what it was about.
We then go to the present, where Albion is having a vision about a world of spiders that is under attack. Albion sends out a flock of owls to gather the rest of the Knights of Pendragon. All of the Pendragons are wearing their latest costumes, which were designed by Alan Davis and which make the characters much more like super-heroes.
Communication by owl is a pretty shitty method if the owls have to die.
Also, when i say that the costumes make them more like super-heroes, it's especially in comparison to their last sets of armor, which were Iron Man-like. Obviously Union Jack's original costume was his most super-heroish. This current costume makes him unrecognizeable.
But it's definitely the case that Breeze James is, for all intents and purposes, a super-hero thanks to the costume that gives her super-speed.
And Adam Crown and Grace Lexley's costumes are very super-hero-y.
And Grace can fly, and Adam has an energy shield and a sword that shoots energy beams. It's all a bit removed from the "Knights" concept as originally laid out. But the group still hangs out in the Green Chapel in Avalon and retain other such trappings. And it turns out that even that spider guy was a Knight of Pendragon from another dimension.
The story is that his world is being ravaged by armed troops. His world's Knights of Pendragon tried to stop them, but were mostly slaughtered along with much of the general population. The spider knight, Arrakhl, tried to "trans-shift" to get help, and that's when he encountered Spider-Man. But Spider-Man looked like "a creature of ancient horror" to him, so he shifted again. Arrakhl thinks humans look repulsive, and Breeze isn't good about suppressing her dislike of spiders, but the Knights agree to help.
The shocker is that the armed troops attacking Arrakhl's world turn out to be the Warheads.
I mean, it's not really a shocker since this is exactly the sort of thing the Warheads do. So i guess some other (Marvel UK) characters were bound to come across them eventually, and i like that a reason isn't contrived for the Warheads to just be good guys for this encounter, at least initially.
The Knights are pretty much slaughtered by the Warheads. It's said that it's because they were taken by surprise, but it's also pointed out how little sense that makes, since the Knights were headed in for an attack on someone whereas the Warheads hadn't been encountering any serious resistance.
The art isn't that great (Alan Davis and Bryan Hitch do some of the covers, and i wish one of them did the interiors), but i like how the Warheads are depicted as just having a massive amount of firepower.
And in general they just decimate the Knights.
And the Knights have to flee after Adam falls down a chasm and the Gawain-bot is damaged.
Gawain's self-repair programs seem to kick in, but i guess while taking the locale into consideration.
Actually, it might be that he's not even supposed to look like a spider. That's just what his robot head looks like underneath the face that got burnt off.
The Pendragons barely get a break before getting attacked by things that look like Venom wearing the Hobgoblin's cloak.
These things are called the Scourge, and it turns out that they're the equivalent to the Bane that the Pendragon fight all the time on Earth. The local spider king has summoned them in an attempt to fight off the Warheads, but obviously that's not a good idea. It's also clear that this is why Arrakhl thought black-costume Spider-Man was an ancient horror. Meanwhile, here's what the spider-people's mythological hero looks like.
Some of the Pendragons go back to Earth to try to recruit Spider-Man. They're followed by some of the Scourges.
Spider-Man is a bit reluctant to go back with the Pendragons, but he does agree.
As for the Warheads, they've been sent to this world for a conductive material that the spider-people use in their homes. They were actually unaware that the spiders were sentient. Three (previously unseen) Warheads don't really care, but Colonel Liger and the other Warheads that we already know are somewhat more altruistic than that. However, they're also interested in the fact that the Knights of Pendragon teleported into this dimension of their own accord, since they are dependent on Mys-Tech wizards opening portals for them. So the "good" Warheads switch sides in return for a promise that they can have Arrakhl's trans-shift device. The "bad" Warheads, however, ally themselves with the Bane-corrupted spiders.
With the sides now determined, big fight time.
The bad Warheads and Bane creatures are defeated, but not before they plant a bomb that Spider-Man has to fling into the sky.
It explodes in "the ley space, the void between dimensions". That will actually come back to bite the Pendragons later.
Arrakhyl repairs Gawain, and Breeze gets over her aversion of spiders (although the reverse can't be said for Arrakhyl).
The Warheads go back with the "traitors" as captives. But they don't seem to acquire the technology they wanted, and they don't even get the trans-shift. So i'd be worried that from Mys-Tech's perspective, it's Liger's faction that failed their mission. But we don't see what happens when they return.
It's said that the Scourge things look like Venom only because patterns repeat across the multiverse. Spider-Man opts to go home with the Pendragons rather than investigate any further.
Nothing spectacular, but this is an improvement over past issues in this second volume of the series, and i did like the meeting with the Warheads.
Before Grace Lexley is summoned at the beginning of this arc, we see that she's returned to Omni Corp, the company that she used to run, and she's trying to turn it into an environmentally friendly business. But we see one that one of her board members, Mabon, has ties to Mys-Tech. That's a set-up for the next arc.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Jacqueline Crichton (Spitfire) is home during this arc and the next one, but that doesn't mean that she couldn't still be working at Oracle (as seen in the Namor series). Since Che isn't one of the Warheads, i'm placing this before Warheads #6-9, but that's not really a definitive consideration. Spider-Man's appearance is context free.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAdam Crown, Albion, Breeze James, Francesca Grace Lexley, Green Knight, Misha (Warheads), Sir Gawain, Spider-Man, Spitfire, Stacy Arnheim, Tigon Liger, Union Jack (Joey Chapman)
I've wondered how Spider-Man's resemblance to the god in this story might be related to his later-revealed status as a spider-totem. I'm not that familiar with the mythology of this book, though, so I'm not sure if it could be better explained using the internal logic of this series.
Posted by: TCP | April 29, 2016 6:26 PM
I'm not liking the idea that Spider-Man basically accidentally killed a third of a planet's population when he got rid of the bomb. Of course, this is never mentioned in any of Spider-Man's books.
Posted by: Michael | April 30, 2016 11:26 AM
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