Marvel Comics Presents #160-163 (Vengeance)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #160, Marvel Comics Presents #161, Marvel Comics Presents #162, Marvel Comics Presents #163 (Vengeance story only)
The girl watches as her parents jump in front of a subway train while shouting "Diabolique!". She's then brought to a police station, where she latches on to Michael Badilino.
It also turns out that homeless people have been disappearing in the subway, and that also has something to do with "Diabolique". In fact, we next see a woman trying to give a homeless woman some help, but the homeless woman turns out to be a monster.
Badilino turns into Vengeance to fight the monster. And it does indeed turn out that the creepy little girl is Diabolique.
The creature, her "Playmate", is an amalgam of all the homeless people it's absorbed. Diabolique then enlarges her pet spider, Zoroaster, and sends it to fight Vengeance. Vengeance fights the giant spider while Diabolique slips away and mesmerizes a police officer to bring her to Times Square, where she meets Salome.
Diabolique says that she wants to be Salome's apprentice. She gives Playmate to Salome. Salome feeds on human suffering, and Playmate is full of it. But Vengeance defeats Zoroaster and arrives to attack Salome (and also helpfully provides her one-line description for those of us not reading Doctor Strange).
Salome tells Diabolique that killing Vengeance will be the test that determines if she'll take her on as an apprentice. Vengeance doesn't want to hurt Playmate since it is made up of innocent people. And Diabolique makes a voodoo doll out of hellfire that she absorbed from Vengeance earlier.
But then Playmate signals to Vengeance that it wants to be killed.
Doing so robs Diabolique of "the battery for my powers". Vengeance considers killing Diabolique, but can't bring himself to do it. And he's too weak to fight Salome, who says that he causes so much suffering in the world that she's happy to let him live. Salome then tells Diabolique to go and rebuild her power and her playmate and to come see her about an apprenticeship once she's done so.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after Michael Badilino is "not a cop anymore", which would seem to mean after Ghost Rider #49 when he quits the special police task force (he's never really "not a cop", as far as i understand it).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showDiabolique, Playmate, Salome, Vengeance, Zoroaster
The design of the little girl must have been influenced by the iconic 1973 Donald Sutherland thriller Don't Look Now.
Posted by: Andrew F | April 23, 2018 7:41 PM
Is this a different Diabolique than the one from the Darkhold book? If she looks different, I just assumed it was off-model art.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 23, 2018 8:00 PM
"he's never really "not a cop", as far as i understand it". Define "cop". In issues 167-175 and the flashback in Ghost Rider 74, he's working for the federal government under Uno. Issues 160-166 take place after Badilino left the NYPD but before he starts working for Uno. (Uno invites him to join shortly after issue 166.)
Posted by: Michael | April 23, 2018 8:44 PM
@Walter - the MCP list this as a separate character but i agree it should be the same Diabolique.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 23, 2018 8:53 PM
The MCP lists her as a separate character (real name Diana Bolick) with an additional appearance in a story running in MCP #172-4. But the Marvel Appendix seems to treat them as the same character, and both of her MCP stories are written by Chris Cooper, who also wrote her Darkhold appearances. The Appendix entry also contains a quote from Cooper that refers both to Diabolique's role as a parallel to Victoria Montesi's hidden parentage and to her Playmate which apparently appears in the Darkhold book but I don't know if it's called by that name.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 23, 2018 8:53 PM
...and fnord responded just as I finished writing all that.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 23, 2018 8:54 PM
Morgan thanks for providing more detail than i did. I've also added tags for Zoroaster and Playmate.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 24, 2018 12:59 PM
Comments are now closed.
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