Midnight Sons Unlimited #1
Issue(s): Midnight Sons Unlimited #1
Spirits of Vengeance
James Felder - Assistant Editor
The Spirits of Vengeance story has Ghost Rider and Blaze in a town in upstate New York. There is an old woman in a nursing home who stares creepily out the window at everyone, and people are getting murdered by a demon. The demon eventually turns on the woman, but the SoVs stop it.
They learn that the demon was summoned by the old woman, who was given a page of the Darkhold from the Darkhold Dwarf.
Ghost Rider does not have an exclusion clause for his penance stare when it comes to old bedridden women.
The beginning of this story has Ghost Rider giving the penance stare to a man that attacked a woman.
It's not directly related to the main story but it'll be brought up in issue #2.
The Darkhold story is in black & white. It features the Dwarf giving a Darkhold page to a prison inmate called called Mercy. The story is actually from Mercy's perspective.
One of the effects of the Darkhold page is that Mercy stops being able to see in color. Which i guess is why the story is in black & white (although it doesn't explain why the story was in b&w from the start).
The story shows Mercy trying to escape the prison, but he winds up killing himself by shoving a pencil through his eye.
The Darkhold Redeemers show up too late to help him, and they aren't aware that Mercy is in fact still alive but aren't aware that he's trapped as a shadow.
The art provides creepy imagery but the story is kind of confusing (deliberately; it's narrated by a psychopath) and the Redeemers themselves don't really play a role at all.
After the first two stories you might think that all four stories in this issue have the teams running into threats generated by Darkhold pages, but that's not the case with the latter two, at least explicitly.
The Nightstalkers story is from the perspective of a young girl that has a role in a parade in Boston. She's attacked by an animated gargoyle statue (which actually has real demon bones underneath), but the Nightstalkers save her.
At first the girl thinks the Nightstalkers are "just as bad" as the gargoyle, but they redeem themselves somewhat by not killing the demon directly in front of her.
The Morbius story has Morbius getting attacked by a man named Gunther...
... who turns out to be the father of a young woman that Morbius murdered. Morbius remembers the woman, saying that she was "one of the last -- of the innocent blood". Morbius then explains his origin to Gunther, and the fact that he's currently in control, and also is trying to rescue a woman who is being attacked around the corner in an alley. Gunther almost lets him go, but then changes his mind and moves to kill Morbius, but Morbius escapes...
...and attacks the rapists. Gunther sees this and helps Morbius.
After the rapists are defeated, Morbius really wants to drink their blood, but he restrains himself to keep Gunther's impression of him positive. He then tells Gunther that he's better off channeling his energy into helping people now rather than seeking vengeance (which is a little self-serving granted, but it is Morbius).
Despite my bias against short stories, i think the premise of the Morbius story is the best of the bunch, and it's executed well too. I like the art best in the Darkhold story. The art in the Spirits of Vengeance is pretty terrible, but i like that they are running into someone with a Darkhold page. The Nightstalkers story has nothing to recommend. The truth is that nothing here really rises above filler quality and makes me say, "Oh, this is why we needed a quarterly Midnight Sons book!".
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Everything's context free here, so it's more about finding where this can fit in the regular series.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlade, Darkhold Dwarf, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Hannibal King, Johnny Farmer, Louise Hastings, Morbius, Noble Kale, Sam Buchanan, Victoria Montesi
Fnord, one thing to note- the Nightstalkers can't appear here between the Nightstalkers- Morbius crossover and Midnight Massacre. During the Nightstalkers- Morbius crossover, Blade leaves Drake and King to search for the Darkhold page. At the start of Midnight Massacre, Drake and King realize Blade is after the page and go to stop him. So the Nightstalkers shouldn't make any appearances as a group at least between the Nightstalkers-Morbius crossover and Midnight Massacre.
Posted by: Michael | October 31, 2016 7:59 PM
The Darkhold story seems to be going for a noir-ish look (perhaps inspired by Sin City-era Frank Miller?)
Posted by: Morgan Wick | October 31, 2016 9:13 PM
Also, I'm sure you didn't intend to post this on Halloween (and actually the Secret Defenders story is vaguely relevant as well).
Posted by: Morgan Wick | October 31, 2016 9:14 PM
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