Marvel Comics Presents #146
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #146
Michael Kraiger - Assistant Editor
Strange is getting weary and starting to doubt his every move, so he is searching for the Caretaker so that the Caretaker can replace him "if I succumb to this dementia". So he goes to the Nightclub. But he finds a gender-bending Nightmare working the bar.
Nightmare says that he's really there to warn Strange about "her".
And "her" is Salome, a demon that claims to have met Strange before.
She implies that she's hit Strange with a spell of forgetfulness.
Nightmare urges Strange to wake up. Aware that he seems to be in a loop, Strange tries to preserve his memory of this encounter. He also seems to suggest that Nightmare is part of the attack, whereas earlier he thought that Nightmare was a prisoner of Salome.
Strange also manages to contact Caretaker, who tells him that he has to manage the Spirits of Vengeance on his own.
The whole thing is very confusing and maybe, since it's a dream, it's supposed to be. When Strange is woken up thanks to a splash of water from Victoria Montesi, he seems to be forgetting the encounter. The more immediate concern is green fire spewing from the ruins of his home.
I love how he looks at the audience knowingly in that final panel. Like, don't look at me, dude. I have no idea what's going on.
Meanwhile, a very blurry Blade and Frank Drake are still contending with the Dust People.
Drake smashes a sigil on a wall, summoning ghosts to fight the Dust people.
Drake then blacks out, and later he and Blade both wake up and are found by Hannibal King.
Wow, no clue what that was about.
In the Ghost Rider story, he and Seer teleport to the Cypress Hills Cemetary where they find what seems to be Caretaker. They take him back to the Nightclub. But then he tries to assassinate Embyrre. It turns out he's really the shapeshifter, Metarchus.
That's a pretty awesome form, anyway.
Stacy Dolan is among the people at the Nightclub. She's (understandably) not very effective against the Fallen demon, but she's commended for her bravery.
Metarchus says that the Midnight Sons are more powerful than the Fallen have realized, and flees through a portal.
In the final story, Devil-Slayer goes to Dr. Strange's home and finds it in ruins. We sort of saw this in his previous story, but he's got an updated look (but still the same magic cloak).
Devil-Slayer find a homeless person raving about devils and demons, and then the ruins begin to crumble. Devil-Slayer's cloak automatically teleports him away, and he winds up in the Cypress Hill Cemetary. Something in his cloak then says, "knock-knock" and Devil-Slayer is teleported again, this time to a weird bar full of demons.
One of the demons mentions Pilgrim (one of the Lilin, standing behind him) and says that they want to use Devil-Slayer and his cloak to take a trip. The idea seems to be that we are in the Shadowside dimension where all the Lilin have been banished to, and they want to use the cloak to escape.
Devil-Slayer, an alcoholic, is fighting the urge to take a drink, but he stammers his way through telling the demon that he's not interested. He's then attacked by what looks vaguely like Meatmarket, another Lilin.
As they battle, they are teleported through a variety of dimensions. Devil-Slayer wins the fight and then returns to the bar to dump Meatmarket, and then back to Dr. Strange's home, where the homeless guy is still ranting.
The one panel makes it seem like Devil-Slayer is going to hook up with the larger Siege of Darkness crossover, but this is the last we'll see of him for this story.
The Ghost Rider story in this issue at least feels like it flows from the events of the other issues in this crossover, but it's hardly essential. The Nightstalkers story is a bizarre tangent, and the Dr. Strange story is just too confusing for me. I like seeing Devil-Slayer, but it's staked out a middle ground where it's not quite 'other heroes dealing with events on the periphery of the crossover' and not quite core to the story either. The idea that the Shadowside dimension where the Lilin have been banished is accessible through Devil-Slayer's cloak (and therefore, potentially, other means) seems like it should be an alarming development. The ending also makes it seem like the story is going to tie-in with the larger crossover. But it does seem to just be a one-off.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part fourteen of Siege of Darkness. Part fifteen is in Doctor Strange #61. As i noted last issue, the Blade & Frank Drake story continues directly from there. Therefore it takes place concurrently with the last two chapters of Siege of Darkness and before Blade & Drake's appearance in the Ghost Rider story this issue.
Devil-Slayer's time at Dr. Strange's ruins must take place before Strange gets there and the place starts glowing.
Crossover: Siege of Darkness
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlade, Devil-Slayer, Dr. Strange, Embyrre, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Hannibal King, James Raydar, Meatmarket, Metarchus, Nightmare, Noble Kale, Pilgrim, Salome, Seer, Stacy Dolan, Vengeance, Victoria Montesi
I know it's been said before but, good God, this traditional Mavel super-heroes meets Vertigo meets Clive Barker thing they're doing... Just. Doesn't. Work.
Posted by: Andrew | March 28, 2017 8:55 AM
Funny thing: there is a previous "Salome" in Marvel, but it was in their tokusatsu collab with Toei, Battle Fever J; she was a strongwoman who assisted the main villains of Egos, starting off rather cool but de-evolving into a generic toku female general by the series' second half.
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 10, 2017 7:25 PM
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