Issue(s): Nightstalkers #8, Nightstalkers #9
To be charitable, Blade currently is ready to slice Morbius' head off after the reports of a vampire killer in New York (really Victor Slaughter, who Morbius thinks that he's dealt with), so maybe King doesn't think it's a good time to bring Morbius over to their headquarters. But that's just my guess and it's definitely not explained by King. So Morbius persists (which also allows us to get another demonstration of Morbius' new power)...
...and the two launch into a pointless fight.
Morbius then says that if the Nightstalkers won't help cure him, he's going to go on a bloody rampage to force their hand.
Meanwhile, Victor Slaughter is like, "WTF, i thought this crossover would be about me!" so he has to travel from New York to Boston to get himself back in the story. And due to supervillain union rules, he's required to team up with Stonecold.
Also in this issue is a look in on the woman, Samantha Regent, who found a page from the Darkhold in Darkhold #8.
Samantha's brother Richard calls Borderline Investigations (the Nightstalkers) for help. The idea is that Samantha's parents wasted their inheritance on supernatural paraphernalia, so she hates everything supernatural, and her Darkhold page will wipe everything supernatural out. Blade gets the message, and he also hates the supernatural. So he takes the answering machine tape out of the machine, but his actions and the message are recorded by Frank Drake's security system. Samantha winds up getting hit by a car before using the page. "In the savage crunch of metal and bone, a woman's soul is saved... and a man named Blade is consigned to the Abyss" with a footnote telling us to see next issue.
For now, though, the Nightstalkers go out to investigate an attack on the truck of a "Garth Ronney" that was perpetuated by Morbius.
Morbius uses his weird new power to ambush the Nightstalkers.
This gets Morbius what he wanted, a blast from Drake's gun.
But it provides "no relief". And the fighting continues.
The sexy vampire fighting.
I don't have data on this, but i feel like Marvel has generally had bad luck with crossovers and art teams lately. Like, Ron Garney has been doing interesting work on this title, and of course he'll become a fan favorite. And now we have the Morbius crossover, and then the Midnight Massacre right behind it, so theoretically we'll be getting more eyeballs on the book who may like Garney's art and stick around. But just in time for all of that, Garney is off the title for Ghost Rider. Issue #9 is by Mark Pacella and Don Heck, which i don't think you could come up with a worse art team combination if you tried (and this is Heck's first Marvel assignment since 1991).
I can't even imagine what Heck must have thought about having to ink all those cross hatches.
Coldsteel and Slaughter again have to kind of impose themselves into the plot since the heroes are all wrapped up in their own thing. When they attack, Hannibal King gets a vision of Evil Blade like Frank Drake got the last time they fought Coldsteel.
The villains grab Morbius and fly away with him. Then Drake and King decide to help while leaving Morbius alone, although it's over Blade's objection and without his participation. Love King's pose there.
Stonecold (and seriously, you guys, i want credit for not making any Steve Austin jokes) intends to put Morbius in his weird wheel, which he's reacquired from the Nightstalkers, with the idea that Morbius' suffering will please his masters.
But the Nightstalkers show up. In the ensuing fight, Hannibal's hand gets bitten off by Slaughter even though he was in mist form.
That er, bites him back a little later.
Meanwhile, you have to love Stonecold wearing his face skin during the fight.
Slaughter escapes. Stonecold is forced into his wheel, which Drake is able to destroy with his gun (at the beginning of this story, he was trying to destroy it but couldn't; it's said that now that the wheel is activated it's vulnerable). We see that Stonecold survives the explosion, though. It's a little unclear because the hand is colored Slaughter-white instead of Stonecold-grey, but he's reaching for Stonecold's face skin, so it's presumably Stonecold.
Also note that Blade seems to be in the above scene, which no one is surprised by even though he refused to come on this mission and even though the next page shows him across town with Richard Regent.
I guess the first "Blade" is really a miscolored Hannibal King. I don't know if it should be considered a warning sign regarding the quality of art when the colorist can't follow the story.
Also in these issues we see the Hydra occult agent Belial, who reflects on the origins of DOA.
He's now working on a "new stormtrooper".
In what will turn out to be a related scene, the father of a Suze Harlow prepares to defend her remains.
I want to make something clear. I noted in the first Morbius entry that this story seemed like it should have been a no brainer to plot but it somehow went off the rails. That doesn't mean that i think every crossover should follow the standard 'Misunderstanding Fight/Team-Up To Fight Villain' formula. If creators want to upturn expectations or otherwise experiment with that, more power to them. But this crossover just winds up feeling really convoluted, which seems unnecessary since the set-up in this case was particularly clear cut. The characters do wind up fighting amongst themselves anyway, but the reasons for it make your average Misunderstanding Fight seem reasonable. So it basically follows the usual formula, but it convolutes the reasoning. It's kind of like Angst is the new Misunderstanding.
One other note: this crossover has kind of a weird order. It's an issue of Morbius, and then two issues of Nightstalkers, and then back to an issue of Morbius. And there's not much guidance in the issues about what to read next. Nothing on the covers, and nothing in the next issue blurbs for either Nightstalkers #8 or #9 pointing to the Morbius issues. Add to that the fact that the Morbius issues have an unrelated back-up story featuring some of the same characters and it can be a bit confusing trying to figure out what to read next.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues from Morbius #10 and continues in Morbius #11.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBelial, Blade, Frank Drake, Hannibal King, Innards, Jeb Harlow, Keith Roberts, Malpractice, Morbius, Pyre, Richard Regent, Rotwrap, Samantha Regent, Stonecold, Suze Harlow, Victor Slaughter
I think that's supposed to be Slaughter clutching Stonecold's skin.
Posted by: Michael | October 20, 2016 8:50 PM
Fnord, kudos are due for not lapsing into Steve Austin jokes. Of course, the name could be inspired by the early '80's song "Stone Cold" from the criminally underrated hard rock band Rainbow (founded by legendary Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore). Or even the better-known "Stone Cold Crazy" from Queen (also covered by Metallica).
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 28, 2017 8:24 PM
Every time I see Hannibal King in his long wizard vest and pseudo-musketeer garb plus the ponytail, I wonder "What the hell happened to the private eye?" Also, Frank Drake's look is like a weird hybrid of "mini-Cable" and Captain Kronos, the hero from the early '70's, late-period-Hammer Films cult classic "Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | November 1, 2017 9:54 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|