Issue(s): Darkhold #8, Darkhold #9, Darkhold #10
In this case the spell summons a wish-fulfilling demon, except the wishes are granted in the most gruesome way possible. The spell is first cast by a woman that meets the Darkhold Dwarf in the airplane bathroom; he's in the toilet.
The woman has self-confidence issues, and so she wishes for the courage to approach a handsome steward. She does approach him, but then the demon within her comes out of her and eats him.
Then the demon starts granting wishes to anyone who makes them. For example, in the resulting panic, one of the passengers wishes that he was back home, so he's suddenly thrown there violently from the plane, presumably crushing him to death while leaving a hole in the plane causing explosive decompression.
Sam Buchanan figures out what's going on and tells everyone to avoid making wishes. There's a comic book (and peace) fan on the plane who tries to use the wish-making to everyone's advantage, but Buchanan fears the outcome and stops him.
The fan later does get a wish out, wishing for no more wishes...
...but the demon tries to grant that wish by killing everyone on the plane, starting with the pilot.
Buchanan eventually solves the problem by going back to the woman who made the first wish (who is apparently still alive, despite the demon that came out of her), getting her to repeat what she initially said to cast the spell, and then wishing that she hadn't said it. This gets rid of the demon with no ill effects, and then Buchanan manages to land the plane himself.
Some other events occur during this demon encounter. Professor Hastings runs into one of the stewardesses, Caprice, who turns out to be her daughter. They did not have a close relationship. Caprice is killed during the demon attack. She makes her mother promise that she'll take care of her son, Will, aka Jinx.
Also, after the Dwarf flushes himself down the toilet, we see him falling into a lake near where a woman named Samantha is complaining about what i first thought was the Redeemers, although it didn't quite make sense.
But it's not the Redeemers she's talking about. This is setting up the Midnight Massacre crossover, and it doesn't have any bearing on the current plot.
So back to that: Before the demon attack, the Redeemers came up with a way to try to stop all the Darkhold pages from being read in one fell swoop. The idea was that Buchanan would contact his boss in Interpol and have him put out a worldwide alert to law enforcement agencies saying that the letters with the pages contain letterbombs, so that people won't try to open them and they'll instead report them. But at the end of the issue, we learn that Buchanan's boss, DeGuzman, is actually the head of the Darkholders cult. And DeGuzman tells Buchanan to bring the other Redeemers in.
Also while on the plane, we get clear confirmation that Victoria Montesi's roomate Nash, who was injured in the first issue, is in fact Victoria's lover.
The next issue opens with Jinx, who is in trouble with a Los Angeles gang. Jinx has a birthmark over one of his eyes.
Jinx manages to escape the gang (in part by seemingly casting an illusion to make it look like he's holding a gun) and get home, only to learn from his grandmother that his mother is dead.
We jump ahead to Caprice's funeral. Louise has asked Victoria's father Vittorio to perform the ceremony. Victoria tries to make peace with her father, acknowledging that the Darkhold threat is real, but Vittorio is not willing to accept Victoria's "life of sin", so that reconciliation doesn't go so well.
After the funeral, we see Louise in grief over the death of her daughter. And it turns out that she has a Darkhold page. She half-activates it, knowing that it will try to get her to try to undo her daughter's death, but she tells the summoned demon that she will never use the Darkhold page and that they're aware of the Malachy Prophecy. But Jinx sees Louise using the page and activates it himself to try to get his mom back. What follows is a little unclear. The demon says that it's bound by an adept. I'm not sure if Louise is doing something or it's because Jinx, as we'll learn, really is an adept in the mystic arts.
Either way, the demon is temporarily bound, but that's when Buchanan shows up to arrest Hastings. He shoots her with a tranquilizer dart.
And does the same to Victoria.
Note that the weird armor that Buchanan is wearing is said to be standard Interpol issue.
Meanwhile, we learn more about the "she" that the Darkholders were worried about last issue. She turns out to be DeGuzman's wife.
They also have a daughter that terrifies DeGuzman.
The daughter's name is Diabolique (it was a little confusing at first; i thought the mother was Diabolique). Diabolique is said to be waiting for the Darkholders to bring them the page of the Demogorge, one of the Darkhold pages. It's thought that this is the page that Hastings had, but that will turn out not to be the case.
Victoria and Louise are brought to the Darkholder headquarters, where Victoria of course is put in a skintight costume.
Jinx, who had been paralyzed by the demon (or the binding of the demon) during Buchanan's initial attack, follows and launches a rescue (and if there was any doubt about the purpose of Victoria's "costume", it's dispelled here).
Jinx uses the Darkhold page to deal with the Darkhold goons.
Jinx continues to show some degree of control over the demon...
...and Louise says that he is "an adept -- one of those rare individuals born with innate magic potential, whose mere presence can trigger mystical reactions".
Since it's indestructible, the page is also used in a unique way.
As for Sam Buchanan, it turns out that he really believes that he works for Interpol and that there's nothing shady about his boss. And he doesn't believe in magic at all, despite everything he's seen. So the fact that Victoria always seemed to be able to "predict" where the Darkhold pages would turn up next made her suspicious to him.
The idea that Buchanan doesn't believe in magic this late into the story is kind of hard to swallow. If this were a regular, non-Marvel universe story, i'd be grousing a bit about the guy's willful ignorance, but i guess i could swallow it. But combine everything he's seen with the fact that he is part of the Marvel universe, and it's a bit ridiculous. I could see him not accepting that it's magic and instead blaming everything on mutants or something, but he has to believe that something beyond the ordinary has been going on. I get that the "world outside the window" thing means that characters have to be less aware of the unusual than you'd expect, but Sam has fought alongside Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider and the Scarlet Witch at this point. He's not just some guy from the sticks. On the other hand, it takes him a long time to get suspicious of his boss, and he doesn't seem to think that the weird body armor that he and his fellow "Interpol" agents wear is anything unusual, so either he's just very dense or there's some kind of mind control going on (although responses in the lettercols seems to negate the possibility of the latter; they say he's just "firmly set in his beliefs").
Anyway, he does eventually come around and help his fellow Redeemers escape. However, since they don't want the Darkholders to get their hands on all the Darkhold pages, he sends out an order in his bosses name countermanding the alert on the letters. So the Redeemers are back to having to hunt down the letters one by one.
Jinx's demon wipes out a lot of the Darkholders.
And, upset that she didn't get her Demogorge page, Diabolique kills her mother and drives her father mad.
Meanwhile, Modred the Mystic had been trapped in Hawaii by Dr. Strange, not to be released until he was driven from the island in defeat. Modred tries all manner of things to try to get off the island, like trying to lose in a drinking contest. In the end he admits defeat in not being able to get off the island, which of course allows him to leave.
These issues benefit from the lack of guest stars, allowing the book to actually be about what it is supposed to be about. Issue #8 is the sort of plot that i'd expect most of the issues to be like. My only complaint is that the idea that the wishes were granted in the worst way possible only seems to be true about half the time. The other two issues are more about internal conflict and the larger threat of the Darkholders, but that's still more in-theme than guest appearances by Sabretooth and the Punisher. It's interesting that the Darkholders all seem to be wiped out in favor of a new Big Bad villain (and this on top of the threat of the Malachy Prophecy introduced last issue). And that we also get the introduction of Jinx, a younger, potentially more action-oriented character. Almost like the book is trying to shake up the premise. I actually like the original premise and wouldn't have minded a year or so of one-off stories. The little twists that Chris Cooper introduces, like how the wishes work or how Modred escapes the island, as well as the general weirdness of things like the Dwarf flushing himself out of an airplane toilet, show that there was plenty of room for fun horror stories without getting into guest stars or bringing home the apocalyptic uber-threats right away. I do miss Richard Case; i don't think Rurik Tyler sells the creepy weirdness as well. Sometimes it's great, but the art often looks messy.
In any event, this brief foray into the book actually doing what it was meant to do is interrupted for next issue's Midnight Massacre crossover.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Redeemers are on a flight back from their trip to Hawaii at the start of this arc, which where they were left at the end of the previous arc. So not much time should pass between arcs, and the characters shouldn't appear elsewhere. Nightstalkers #10 and Ghost Rider #40, the first two parts of Midnight Massacre, occur before next issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showDarkhold Dwarf, Diabolique, Louise Hastings, Modred the Mystic, Playmate, Randolph DeGuzman, Sam Buchanan, Samantha Regent, Victoria Montesi, Vittorio Montesi, Will 'Jinx' Hastings, Zoroaster
"Vittorio is not willing to accept Victoria's "life of sin""- remember the wording of the Malachy Prophecy- "a woman marked by sin".
Posted by: Michael | September 6, 2016 8:57 PM
Updated the fate of DeGuzman; it's his last appearance either way.
I believe Diabolique's appearances are all same book/same writer, so that wouldn't merit an increase, but Jinx does appear in a few other Midnight Sons books. Mainly thanks to crossovers, but i guess it counts on a technicality.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 6, 2016 10:09 PM
Diabolique later crosses paths with Vengeance in Marvel Comics Presents.
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 6, 2016 10:45 PM
I enjoyed this series. At the time, I wasn't big on the art, but I've come to appreciate it more nowadays. And I really liked Victoria Montessi and was glad Conway brought her back from obscurity recently in his CARNAGE series (along with the Darkhold as well, I should add).
I started up a comic review blog, if anyone is interested. It's a work in progress, but I do start off with two reviews of comics,one recent and one from within the past year. http://comicheroreviews.blogspot.com/
Posted by: Andrew Burke | September 7, 2016 12:04 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|