Characters Appearing: Caretaker, Devil-Slayer, Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Lilith (Demon Mother), Morbius, Noble Kale, Pilgrim, Pixil, Scarlet Witch, Seer, Vengeance, Victoria Montesi, Wasp, Werewolf By Night, Zarathos
Marvel Comics Presents #143
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #143
Werewolf By Night
Michael Kraiger - Assistant Editor
There's no escaping the 8 page format, either. Even though these issues are fully devoted to Siege of Darkness, they are still divided into four stories, each by a different creative team. Some of the stories feature the "core" Midnight Sons characters, but others feature periphery characters - Scarlet Witch, Werewolf By Night, and Devil-Slayer - that deal with the Lilin threat without getting involved in the main event. The core vs. periphery breakdown differs randomly per issue - in this one there's only one core story. Next issue is half and half, in issue #145 it's all core characters, and in issue #146 it's three core stories and one about Devil-Slayer.
The core story this issue is nominally a Ghost Rider story but features all three "Spirits of Vengeance". Dr. Strange tried to teleport the Spirits somewhere so they could escape Zarathos and be trained by Caretaker regarding the "Medallion". But the teleportation spell got screwed up and the Spirits wind up in a familiar-seeming warehouse instead. It turns out that the spell got warped thanks to a Lilin called Girth, whose super-power is a "directorial" ability. He tells another demon, Skitter, that he's using his power to act as a homing beacon for one of the Midnight Sons, who is a traitor. The Spirits overhear and attack, demanding to know who the traitor is.
Girth uses his directorial power to misdirect the Spirits into fighting each other.
Ghost Rider tosses his blades at Girth, a target too large to be protected by Girth's power.
Dr. Strange then locates the Spirits and opens a portal for them. They escape through the portal just as Lilith and Zarathos arrive. The Spirits arrive in Dr. Strange's house, making their flight in Ghost Rider #44 just a short detour. But now they're aware that there is a "traitor" among the Midnight Sons.
The Werewolf By Night story has him facing some Lilin trick-or-treaters. It barely gets started this issue.
In the Scarlet Witch story, the Wasp comes for a visit and Scarlet Witch shows off a new costume.
Then the Siege of Darkness mist comes in and causes a computer system to go crazy.
Scarlet Witch is sucked into cyberspace. She meets a Lilin named Pixil.
The art is very rough, but this is Charlie Adlard, who will later be known as the artist for The Walking Dead.
It's not clear exactly what's going on storywise, but here's our cliffhanger.
As for the Devil-Slayer, the last time we saw him (in Marvel Comics Presents), he had been given a second chance in life and vowed to use it to get over the despondency that has plagued much of his career. This story is by a different creative team, and i guess they didn't think much of that direction.
The story has him afraid of (personal?) demons that might come out of his cloak, which he's locked in the fridge. He's also trying to resist the temptation of alcohol. Eventually Lilin come pouring out of the fridge.
This at least gives Devil-Slayer something to fight, and he rises to the challenge, driving them back into the fridge.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part three of Siege of Darkness. Part four is in Darkhold #15. The Scarlet Witch story takes place while the West Coast Avengers are still active, and since she was wearing her old costume in Avengers West Coast #101, that places this story between #101 and #102. The Werewolf By Night and Scarlet Witch stories both continue directly next issue, but i'll follow the part x of y format of the crossover and place the entire Marvel Comics Presents issues accordingly. Devil-Slayer will get another story in #146 which is by the creative team and still part of Siege of Darkness, but it's not a direct continuation.
Crossover: Siege of Darkness
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Cefn Ridout was previously the editor for Marvel UK for a while in the 1980s.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 27, 2017 3:45 PM
I have to laugh at Ghost Rider not realizing who the traitor is instantly considering claimed to be possessed by a Lilin the last time he saw Ghost Rider.
Posted by: Michael | March 27, 2017 11:09 PM
Tie-in anthologies would eventually become a thing in their own right at Marvel (recent examples being Secret Wars: Battleworld + Civil War II: Choosing Sides). Although the stories tend to be inconsequential, I do enjoy the opportunity for little vignettes about characters who will never hold their own solo, in a way that often gives space for an indie or up-and-coming creator an opportunity to do some work on mainstream Marvel characters.
Posted by: cullen | March 27, 2017 11:42 PM
"Pixil" implies here that the Scarlet Witch has met (and battled?) Lilith before, something we have never actually seen. This story might have been a lot better if it had focused on that untold encounter.
Posted by: Lyde1848 | May 4, 2018 3:51 PM
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