Issue(s): Darkhold #11
Seriously? You're going with some bad wordplay for the premise of your crossover? That actually gets to the heart of the matter: you've got the dark faux-leather covers making this seem like it's going to be some Goth Vertigo thing, but this is really a very by the numbers super-hero crossover. In that regard it's actually fine. The idea of a hero going crazy and killing other super-heroes and getting their powers is a fun super-romp. It's just that if there was any hope of the Midnight Sons line doing anything beyond to distinguished itself from a standard Marvel superhero comic, that's quashed now.
Anyway, "Switchblade" shows up (and i love that everyone has now agreed to call him that), chasing Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider is defended by Drake, so Blade targets Louise Hasting's grandson, Jinx.
But then Modred the Mystic arrives.
Modred adds a complicated wrinkle to the Darkhold book. The other three main characters of the series are all normal people, and the stories are designed to have them investigating supernatural threats in a standard horror story kind of way. In that sense, the Darkhold book had the potential, at least, to be something more than super-heroes with fangs. But the fourth cast member, Modred, is a super-powerful wizard. Chris Cooper has mostly been smart about keeping him separate from the main cast so that he doesn't interfere too much with the normal plots. But i guess when it comes time for a crossover with the other more super-characters in the Midnight Sons line, it's good to have a character that can go toe-to-toe with them.
Unfortunately there's a very clever idea in here that will basically get ignored. One of the ways that Cooper has kept Modred isolated was to have Dr. Strange trap him on Maui for a time. Modred has finally figured out a loophole in Strange's spell; he just had to bring a sack of sand from Maui with him (the spell was that he was "not to leave Maui's soil"). And so Modred battles Blade...
...and loses. And we Modred, as he dies and Blade absorbs his powers, dumping the sand.
So the idea should be that Dr. Strange's curse should now be transferred to Blade. I thought that was pretty cool. But later chapters of this story will basically bring that development up only to dismiss it; it turns out to not be the Trojan Horse that defeats Switchblade/Demogorge. The real key, it's decided, is that they have to find the Darkhold and use it to reverse the spell that Blade read.
I should also note that Modred loses the fight in part because the other Midnight Sons don't trust him and wind up attacking him after Modred had seemingly defeated Blade.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part 3 of Midnight Massacre. Part 4 is in Morbius #12.
Crossover: Midnight Massacre
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlade, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Louise Hastings, Modred the Mystic, Noble Kale, Sam Buchanan, Victoria Montesi, Will 'Jinx' Hastings
That actually gets to the heart of the matter: you've got the dark faux-leather covers making this seem like it's going to be some Goth Vertigo thing, but this is really a very by the numbers super-hero crossover.
fnord does a very good job summing up the main problem with the Midnight Sons line. It was trying to be all things to all people.
In hindsight, it was obvious that Marvel wanted these books to appeal to mainstream superhero fans, and to fans of gritty & violent vigilantes like the Punisher, and to fans of the old Tomb of Dracula series by Wolfman & Colan, and to fans of the bizarre, esoteric, surreal supernatural titles DC was publishing via their Vertigo imprint. In attempting to include elements that would attract all of those groups of readers, the Midnight Sons books probably ended up instead driving off most of them, because all these disparate elements were clashing with one another.
People who liked Vertigo were probably turned off by the superhero elements. Fans of ToD probably didn't want to see Blade, Drake and King re-made into characters who were like the Punisher. Fans of traditional superheroes might have been turned off by the odd, esoteric trappings. And so on.
I guess you could say that the Midnight Sons line was a Frankenstein's Monster made up of pieces stitched together from various genres, and in the end it was nowhere near cohesive enough to last.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 2, 2017 3:51 PM
"I should also note that Modred loses the fight in part because the other Midnights Sons don't trust him and wind up attacking him after Modred had seemingly defeated Blade."
Posted by: Michael | February 2, 2017 11:27 PM
One thing your review didn't note- Blade is able to kill and absorb Vicki- another clue to her true nature.
Posted by: Michael | February 7, 2017 8:18 PM
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