Avengers #366 (Bloodwraith)
Issue(s): Avengers #366 (Bloodwraith story only)
Meanwhile Sean Dolan is back in human form, wandering the streets and trying to figure out what to do with himself. Shame keeps him from returning to the Black Knight for help. He then notices the mercenaries and transforms.
I like a demonic wraith going around saying "Blarney".
Bloodwraith says that his sword specifically hungers for the souls of the guilty, so he tells the cops to leave so he can focus on the mercs. He kills both of them, but his sword accidentally triggers an explosion on Flame's backpack, so he doesn't get to absorb Flame's soul. He learns from the merc's hostage that they were after computer discs. When he goes to retrieve them he's met by Deadpool.
Meanwhile, the Black Knight is visiting Victoria Bentley, apologizing for how she found out that he's dating Crystal. Crystal contacts Dane, telling him that the Vision has located Sean. And so he heads to where Bloodwraith and Deadpool are already fighting.
Dane tries to team-up with Bloodwraith against Deadpool, but Bloodwraith isn't having it.
Black Knight is able to disable Deadpool, but he stops Bloodwraith from draining his soul. Bloodwraith then turns on him, but he's distracted by the arrival of Victoria, who he accidentally stabs.
This is the death of Victoria Bentley (sort of; we'll see her soul once more in Bloodwraith's next appearance).
Deadpool recovers, steals Bloodwraith's sword, and teleports away (note the comment about his teleportation matrix working "for once"). Bloodwraith tries to apologize but instead decides to chase Deadpool...
...and he teleports as well using the bond between himself and his sword (surprising the Black Knight). Black Knight says that he'll kill Bloodwraith the next time that he sees him.
When Bloodwraith confronts Deadpool, he finds that his bloodlust is sated by the death of Victoria, so he lets Deadpool go. It's suggested that this was actually Victoria's intention.
This story is handled by the same creative team that did the introductory Bloodwraith story in Avengers annual #22. I noted in that entry that it was somewhat unusual that (unlike most of the annuals) the story didn't have a follow-up back-up focusing on the new character. It's possible that this story was intended for that annual but got shunted to this issue because the main series was having problems with deadlines especially thanks to the decision to have quarterly double-sized issues to celebrate the Avengers' anniversary. This story does follow up on some elements from the annual: it shows Sean wandering the streets without money after that issue, and it shows the Black Knight apologizing to Victoria. And it imparts crucial information about Bloodwraith, namely that he does continue to revert to human form. But it's a standalone story, in any event, and it's interesting to see Deadpool running into characters outside of the X-books. It's worth noting that between the annual and this story, all of the elements of the Black Knight that Bob Harras didn't seem to want to work with on the Avengers are removed - the Ebony Blade, Valinor, even Victoria Bentley (and without her, there's little reason for Dane to return to his castle in DC or his butler, Catherwood).
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote says that this takes place after X-Force #15, but before Deadpool #1. It's not clear why X-Force #15 was cited since Deadpool also appears in X-Force #21-24 before Deadpool #1, and it's not really possible to honor. The Deadpool miniseries has to begin before Infinity Crusade due to dependencies with the Juggernaut and Thunderstrike's series, and the Black Knight still has Valinor during Infinity Crusade, whereas by this story Bloodwraith has Valinor. So this fits better during the Deadpool miniseries, and there is space for it to take place between issues #2&3. The one wrinkle would be Deadpool using his teleportation tech, but the script covers for that nicely by indicating that the teleporter is mostly not working at this time. Obviously this story also takes place after Sean Dolan becomes Bloodwraith in Avengers annual #22.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlack Knight (Dane Whitman), Bloodwraith, Crystal, Deadpool, Valinor, Victoria Bentley, Vision
Another reason this has to take place after Deadpool 1 is that Deadpool knows that Tolliver's prize is a "weapon", which he doesn't seem to find out until Deadpool 2.
Posted by: Michael | January 30, 2017 8:10 PM
Victoria Bentley just keeps suffering tragedies, doesn't she?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | January 30, 2017 8:26 PM
Well, not after this story, Luis.... :(
Posted by: Omar Karindu | January 31, 2017 7:01 AM
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