Knights of Pendragon #13-15
Issue(s): Knights of Pendragon #13, Knights of Pendragon #14, Knights of Pendragon #15
The robot Sir Gawain is having dreams and runs out of the Knights of Pendragon's headquarters, the Green Chapel. At night, the surrounding area (on the other-dimensional Isle of Avalon) becomes the roaming grounds of dangerous goblins and faeries, collectively called the Hobkin. And Gawain is attacked by a big goblin.
The other Knights head out to look for Gawain. They split up. Albion and Grace find Gawain and the Hobkin, but the others run into Death's Head II.
Albion and Grace manage to rescue Gawain, and they bring him back to the Chapel, where Albion is able to reach Gawain on a psychic level and see his dreams. He sees a dying world, for which the Knights of Pendragon are blamed. And it turns out that this is the world where the bomb that the Knights (actually, it was Spider-Man!) threw in Knights of Pendragon #9 ended up. For what it's worth, the world in question is designated Earth 313. You don't see much of the Alan Moore numeric designations at this time but it's not surprising to see them in a UK book.
The denizens of Earth 313 have hired Death's Head II to go after the Pendragons in response.
Union Jack had managed to apprehend Death's Head, using tech that Death Head brought to capture the Knights. But that's spoiled by the sudden, seemingly random, arrival of Magpie. Magpie had been sent to a hell dimension a while back, where he was found by the Pendragon's arch-enemy, the Red Lord. The Red Lord has now sent him back. Magpie and Death's Head II form a temporary alliance.
There are some pages out of order in issue #14, making Magpie team up with Death's Head II before freeing him. What's interesting is that the story seemed entirely readable without the missing pages until i got to them . It makes me wonder if pages were still getting cut out of the book for the Overkill anthology (and they got inserted in the wrong order), even if it was no longer policy to add disposable US guest appearances.
The fight between the Pendragon and the Death's Head/Magpie alliance is interrupted by the arrival of even more characters.
They call themselves the Lemurians of Earth 313. Despite the name, they don't seem to have anything to do with Lemurians as we know them in the Marvel universe, and they are actually Earth 313's analog to the Pendragons. But the Lemurians assume that the Pendragons are mass murderers, so initially there isn't room for discussion. But Death's Head II determines that the Pendragons don't look the part of genocidal maniacs, and he also doesn't like Magpie, so he decides to break from the fight and investigate the Green Chapel. Magpie has also sneaked away.
Albion eventually uses his psychic powers to learn that the Lemurians are Pendragons and that everything that they're being accused of is true. Meanwhile, Death's Head II catches Magpie engaged in a demonic ritual that initiates a summons of the Red Lord.
The Pendragons, Lemurians, and Death's Head II team up to stop the Red Lord from entering Avalon. Adam sacrifices himself while driving the Red Lord back into his own dimension. Death's Head II throws Magpie back as well.
Seeing the sacrifice, the Lemurians are assured that the Pendragons are not wanton killers, and they are happy that more Pendragons exist (they thought they were the last). All the Pendragons except Union Jack and Grace go with the Lemurians to help repair their world. You might think, therefore, that Jack and Grace were being reserved to appear in future Marvel UK minis while the rest were being written off, and it's true that Grace will appear in the Die Cut vs. G-Force series. But it's Albion who will appear in the Marvel UK All Star book Dark Guard, and Union Jack's next appearance will be his 1998 solo mini.
Despite the feint towards a return of the Red Lord, it remains incredible to me how different this series has become compared to the original Knights of Pendragon series. That series was a mature enviro-political thriller with credible elements of supernatural horror. Throughout the second series the book continued to change direction to something more super-hero oriented, and indeed these final issues are very much super-hero stuff despite the medieval fantasy trappings. And not even good super-hero stuff. They aren't horrible, just generic. It never felt like time was taken to get us to care about the cast and i guess because of the changes in direction it never felt like this series was about anything. Death's Head II is also very generic (and uncharacteristically interested in doing the right thing) in this story which is surprising considering the involvement of Dan Abnett, who wrote his regular series (it's unclear how the plot/script credits were broken up between Abnett and Tomlinson for the first two issues, but he's the sole credited writer on #15).
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAdam Crown, Albion, Breeze James, Death's Head II (Minion), Francesca Grace Lexley, Magpie, Red Lord, Sir Gawain, Union Jack (Joey Chapman)
I'm not liking that Spider-Man was revealed to have caused the deaths of a large part of a planet's population in the last issues of a Marvel UK book of all places. If something like this happened, then it would drive Peter crazy, with him seriously considering giving up being Spider-Man for the 500th time. Of course, this is never mentioned again and that's definitely for the best.
Posted by: Michael | January 26, 2017 7:55 PM
"Hit them hard and fast" was ridiculously overused during the '90s- Wizard actually had a contest to see which writer used it the most.
Posted by: Michael | January 26, 2017 9:33 PM
@Michael: Was a contest winner ever actually announced, or was this just Wizard being their usual snarky selves?
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 27, 2017 11:38 AM
Comments are now closed.
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