Characters Appearing: Ba'al-Hadad, Clara Menninger, Craig Blaze, Emma Blaze, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Hafga, Heml, Kodiak, Princess Python, Vug, Warpath, Wendigo V, Wolff, Wyatt Wingfoot, Yod
Issue(s): Blaze #4, Blaze #5, Blaze #6
The story arc is called "Apache Autumn" and features Warpath and Wyatt Wingfoot, along with a Wendigo and some of the weird god/demon characters that appeared in Larry Hama's Avengers run.
The story starts with several pages of a dream sequence wherein Blaze sees that the Wendigo has his missing children, along with other ominous signs. When he wakes up, we find that he's been drawn to a "spirit kiva", and he's been discovered by Warpath and Wingfoot.
I turns out that they've been having dreams too.
They take Blaze to the scene of the crime. The crime being the wanton destruction of an action figure.
Ok, it's really a murder scene, but they suspect that one of the involved kids, Jesse, has survived. And Warpath had a dream of Jesse getting led away by the Wendigo.
Blaze takes Warpath and Wingfoot to see his psychic, Clara Menninger. She still has the weird demon eyes, and she begs Blaze not to make her use them, but he's like, "Meh. Children."
But Wingfoot - because things aren't batshit crazy enough already - says, "What if we put your demon eyes in my grandma's basket?".
This lets everyone see the vision, which has Wendigo carrying Ice Box Bob's tongs.
Then a bunch of butterflies turn into bats and then a big demon, who says he's holding all the kids' souls.
Blaze tries to attack the demon, unclear on the whole "it's a vision" thing. That ends the vision.
Then Wingfoot gets a call about another murder, and another ruined action figure.
Warpath, Wingfoot, and Blaze investigate, and find that the murderer, Licht, has been turned into a monster.
Licht runs off. Blaze and Warpath give chase, but the non-powered Wyatt Wingfoot is left behind. Blaze and Warpath wind up getting captured, so Wyatt and Blaze's circus friends have to stage a rescue. By, uh, doing whatever this is.
Meanwhile, in the dimension where Craig and Emma Blaze are being held by this guy...
...Jesse arrives with the file used to kill Ice Box Bob in the last arc.
Then Spirit Wendigo shows up and takes it...
...and gives it to Blaze.
I'm starting to wonder if i'm in a spirit kiva smoking toad sweat.
The file is initially ineffective in the fight against Licht, but Clara and Princess Python show up on Blaze's motorcycle (i feel like i'm doing Mad Libs) and toss him his shotgun. And when Blaze fires the file through the gun, it hurts Licht. This causes Licht to revert to human form (he was apparently Woody Allen).
Blaze then travels to Washington state to find the physical body of Wendigo.
After that scene we flash back a bit to see how got in this situation.
He first met a contact of Wyatt Wingfoot's named Eve Two Crows. She shows Blaze a map of Wendigo sightings over the last twenty years. Then Clara comes in, wearing full Malice gear at this point, and narrows down the search.
Meanwhile, the kids apparently hitched a ride on Wendigo out of the dimension they were trapped in. Which was apparently the plan of the guy holding them there.
The Wendigo passes Hama's Tetrarchs of Entropy on the way out, and they get a similar idea.
It's been a while since my MMORPG days. What is the term when you walk through a hostile area and more and more monsters attack you, to the point where you've got this huge train of attackers following you around, and then you walk into a normally non-combat area and the monsters slaughter a bunch of unprepared players? That's kind of what it feels like Wendigo is doing. I wish this had ended with Dormammu, Satannish, Shuma-Gorath, etc., all following Wendigo out of a portal onto Earth. Unfortunately, the mystery kidnapper just fights the Tetrarchs, and Wendigo slips back to Earth in the meantime.
So when Blaze arrives, he's focused on the Wendigo, unaware of the demon behind him.
Wendigo jumps in to help.
The demon introduces himself as Baal.
Wendigo hands Jesse the nail file again, and Jesse stabs Baal, causing one of his arms to explode. Blaze gets knocked back during the fight. Baal then withdraws. Jesse says that they have to stop Baal, so the kids all hop back on the Wendigo to chase him. So Blaze once again briefly sees his children before they are gone again.
Among the many, many problems with this story, the choice of characters is odd. If you must do a Mystical Indian story in 1994, why not use one of the many actual Mystical Indians that Marvel has in its repertoire. Why complicate Warpath, normally a very grounded character, with magic visions? And if we have to have Warpath because he's an X-Character, why not Shaman or Black Crow instead of good old normal person Wyatt Wingfoot for our second character? And this is also a really weird use of the Wendigo.
The whole thing is almost so bizarre it's good, but despite all the insanity it feels haphazard and kind of tedious. And if Hama is deliberately going for some deliberate psychedelia, the bland art definitely doesn't try sell it. The story does, in its weird way, feel more purposeful than Howard Mackie's directionless Spirits of Vengeance series, but is that worth the cost to your sanity?
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Warpath had his vision alerting him to the crisis here "before events in X-Force #40".
Enough time passes between issues #5-6 for Blaze to travel from Arizona to Washington.
The Wendigo appearing in this story is supposed to be "benign", a "peaceful woodland spirit". So it makes sense to assume (as the MCP does) that this is the same Wendigo that appeared in Spider-Man #8-12.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I forgot about it until I did a character intersection search, but Wyatt and Johnny briefly met in that weird nativity story where Ghost Rider dressed in pinkish wise man robes. Not that I'd expect Wyatt to recognize him with his face on.
Posted by: Mortificator | January 25, 2018 10:16 PM
Although some of the character choices are a bit weird, I can't fault anyone for choosing to use Wyatt Wingfoot--a great and under-used supporting character. And although he is usually just a regular guy he does have some established magical connections and training, as shown in SHE-HULK: CEREMONY (which, of course, was referenced in this story to justify his use here).
Posted by: Dermie | January 25, 2018 11:34 PM
"Wyatt Wingfoot (who, for the record, is not Apache)"
Wasn't part of Byrne's problem with She-Hulk: Ceremony that it initially made Wyatt not Apache when he was?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | January 26, 2018 4:36 AM
Per John Byrne's quote on this site: "the story required Wyatt Wingfoot to be a Navaho -- he's an Apache, of the Kewazi tribe"
Posted by: Andrew | January 26, 2018 6:47 AM
Warpath, Wyatt Wingfoot and a Wendigo all at once?!?
Today's episode of Blaze was brought to you by the letter "W" :)
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 26, 2018 9:56 AM
Thanks guys. I remembered that Wyatt was Kewazi, but forgot that Kewazi was part of the Apache.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 26, 2018 11:14 AM
I think the idea is that the monster Licht turns into is the same one Souris summoned in Ceremony.
Posted by: Michael | January 27, 2018 12:48 PM
Wasn't the term "kiva" originated by the Pueblos?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 27, 2018 3:03 PM
Comments are now closed.
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