Characters Appearing: Algernon Crowe, Brendan Rathcoole, Bronwen Gryfnn, Cable (Adult), Che, Dark Angel, Death's Head II (Minion), Dr. Doom, Eadmund Porlock, Firecrest, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Gudrun Tyburn, Hatch, Hulk, Noble Kale, Ormond Wychwood, Professor (Prosh), Rick Jones
Shadow Riders #1-4
Issue(s): Shadow Riders #1, Shadow Riders #2, Shadow Riders #3, Shadow Riders #4
I actually found this 100% unreadable thanks especially to the artwork...
Nothing i love more than horrible artwork coupled with huge blocks of text:
The gist of it is that the leader of the Shadow Riders, Vorin, is an ancient wizard from another dimension, and he's more concerned about returning to his planet to rescue his people than stopping Mys-Tech (although he's been fighting Mys-Tech for centuries with various iterations of the Shadow Riders) or anything else. You can see Vorin's green familiar, Goodfellow, in one of the scans above. The other Riders are Grunt, Boot, Roadie, and Stranger, and i'll be damned if i can tell them apart. Although Grunt is new to the team, a Mys-Tech security guard killed and resurrected in issue #1.
Vorin seems to have the ability to bring people back from the dead and give them super-powers and make them loyal to him, or at least remove their loyalty from Mys-Tech. It turns out that one member of his crew is a former Warhead who had been to his planet on a jump and knows that his people have already been wiped out. Oh and there's something about Mephisto but i'm not #@*&@! reading all that.
Beyond that i guess what is important is the guest stars. Since everybody's on a motorcycle, Ghost Rider of course makes an appearance.
But the main guest is Cable. Mys-Tech are utilizing the abilities of an entity named Abadon that he thinks is a mutant, and the Shadow Riders think is just some new technology that Mys-Tech has created. So they come into conflict with Cable, who is trying to rescue the mutant. Cable allies himself with Che, a Warhead that we've met before. Abadon becomes the main bad guy, unleashed by Mys-Tech after the Shadow Riders and Cable go to Vorin's wasteland of a planet.
In this story Cable has the ability to "timeslide" which he does quite casually.
There's also a weird cameo where Vorin anticipates the death of Rick Jones, who is targeted by Death's Head II who has mistaken him for "Mick" Jones. Vorin intended to induct Rick into the Shadow Riders after Death's Head killed him. But Rick is rescued by the Hulk, who was apparently feeling nostalgic for his purple pants days.
There's also a cameo by Dr. Doom who isn't happy that a Mys-Tech experiment sends magic energy through his kingdom but uncharacteristically doesn't do anything about it.
Note also the Dark Angel cameo.
Mys-Tech send the Slaughterhouse Six, villains that previously appeared in Motormouth and Killpower (where they were called the Harpies), after the Shadow Riders.
Aside from the art, this is impenetrable i think because it tries to do too much. "Super-powered guys on motorcycles fighting Mys-Tech" works pretty well as a premise. "Super-powered guys on motorcycles who are lead by an ancient wizard who resurrects people and is working to save his home planet and fight Mys-Tech" is just overload. And the characters are actually barely on motorcycles! This book should have been called Shadow Walk Arounders.
These issues slowed down my project immensely because i had to keep putting the book down. Sometimes i think i couldn't read more than a panel a day. And i might has well have just skimmed it all since i barely got anything out of it.
In conclusion, garbagey garbage is garbage.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: One factor is around Cable's ability to timeslide. I'm assuming Cable loses the ability to time travel after Cable #1-3 (regular series) and X-Force #20-23 (when the Graymalkin satellite is destroyed). And that would meant that this story would need to take place before X-Cutioner's Song. It has to take place after Death's Head II #6-9 (at a minimum) to allow Death's Head II to appear here. Warheads #14 is referenced, meaning that also has to take place prior to these issues. Cable is described as the "former X-Force leader" in issue #1, so this has to take place after X-Force #12-15.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Fnord, you have this placed before X-Force 12-15. But in your review for Motormouth and Killpower 9, you write that Cable is referred to as X-Force's "former leader" in issue 1. If that's the case, it should take place after X-Force 12-15 but before the Cable limited series.
Posted by: Michael | November 2, 2016 7:54 PM
Right, thanks Michael.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 3, 2016 9:28 AM
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