Terror Inc. #11
Issue(s): Terror Inc. #11
That said, this is largely a Terror story that Sable and Cage happen to be in. We saw the set-up for this in the last Terror arc, and the villain here, Priapus, is supernatural in origin, so definitely more in Terror's wheelhouse. Terror also has more personal motivations for getting involved than the other two, who just happened to be hired for jobs. Silver Sable's Wild Pack is completely absent from this story, and Luke Cage's supporting cast gets very little time (except for Dakota North, who does play a supporting role in the main story).
The story starts with Terror at the monastery where Hellfire has been staying, having responded to the request that we saw Hellfire was going to make in the last arc (the story actually starts with Terror and Hellfire fighting, but that's just to establish that Hellfire still doesn't appreciate Terror having infused Daimon Hellstrom's Darksoul into him). While they're talking, Terror says that he knew another holy man with Hellfire's passion, saying "he had a St. George complex, too!". I haven't read the Shadowline books that Terror "first appeared" in (as Shreck), but i assume that's a reference to the St. George series. The official line at this time was that Terror wasn't the same character as Shreck, so maybe the line was meant as more of a tongue-in-cheek Easter egg than a real reference.
Terror is then introduced to Brother Randi, a fellow monk, who, as we saw last arc, is secretly working for Priapus. Randi wants to hire Terror to find Vatsayana's Tryst, which is said to be a compass that will lead the bearer to the Carnal Serpent, which is said to be an idol responsible for the fall of Adam and Eve and Sodom and Gomorroa as well as good things like the "ecstasy" that inspired Europe to emerge from the Dark Ages (Vatsayana is the author of the Kama Sutra and Priapus is from Greco-Roman mythology so we are really spanning cosmologies). Terror is offered a million dollars to locate the Tryst, but instead he requests that Brother Randi say a prayer for him "on the off chance that what I am and who I loved might one day have a reunion of some manner" (we learned in the last arc that his former lover's hand is inside his metal claw).
For a while, in part thanks to where Mycomicshop.com puts its UPC stickers, i thought the name of this crossover was For Love Not Money, as a reference to Terror's request of payment here.
After Terror agrees to the job and leaves, we see Priapus show up and kill Randi.
That's also the last we'll see of Hellfire in this crossover, but we'll return to him for Terror's final issue immediately afterwards.
Terror goes to his source for mystic intel, Rekrab, and learns that Vatsayana's Tryst is supposed to be in a village near the Arctic Circle. So Terror heads there.
Meanwhile, though, we learn that Silver Sable and Luke Cage have also been hired to find the Tryst. Both have been hired through intermediaries (Cage through the newspaper he has a deal with, the Chicago Spectator) that are agents of Priapus. And there are actually three pieces of Vatsayana's Tryst, and each mercenary has been sent after a separate piece. When Terror locates his piece of the Tryst, he finds it near the corpse of the previous owner, and he 'tries on' a piece of the corpse and learns of the existence of the other two pieces. This leads him to Luke Cage, who he attacks after stealing the arm of a mutant who had acid-discharging powers.
Terror then goes after Silver Sable, with Cage on his heels.
Not much to say at this point so i'll indulge in a tangential gripe: i don't love the idea of Terror being able to pick up the arm of an unidentified mutant that provides him with exactly the powers he needs to deal with the invulnerable Cage. I'm fine with Terror always having access to body parts of regular people with skills - lockpicks, helicopter pilots, etc. - but allowing him access to random super-powers as needed seems too convenient. Part of this is that i'm never thrilled with the casual addition of random mutants that Xavier etc. never heard of in the first place, but if the story at least took the time to introduce the character and showed a mini-quest where Terror acquired the arm, it'd be a little better. Aside from that, this is a decent set-up.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This crossover has been pushed back in publication time to allow time for Hellstorm to get his Darksoul back after Hellfire's final appearance in Terror Inc. #13 (see Hellstorm #1's considerations for more). This is part one of For Love Nor Money. The next part is in Cage #15.
Crossover: For Love Nor Money
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAlexis Primo, Brother Randi, Hellfire (Mikal Drakonmegas), Luke Cage, Priapus, Rekrab, Silver Sable, Terror (Shreck)
I was a regular Cage and Sable reader at the time. The crossover got me to try Terror, which I found I enjoyed better than either of the two books I was already reading. So Terror gained at least one reader from this--just in time to have his book canceled.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 3, 2016 7:42 PM
For LOVE nor Money was an appropriate title- Cage, Sable and Terror were neither loved nor made Marvel money.
Posted by: Michael | November 3, 2016 7:50 PM
You don't think a book that sold 150k w a non-superstar creative team made Marvel money?
Posted by: Cullen | November 3, 2016 11:57 PM
@Cullen- partly I couldn't resist the joke but truthfully, it was cancelled 4 issues after the crossover ended, so it must have been losing sales.
Posted by: Michael | November 4, 2016 7:57 AM
Terror Inc was selling around 50 thousand copies a month in 1993 and was cancelled. Nowadays Marvel would absolutely kill to have those sales on one of their lesser-known titles. According to the sales figures for May 2016, most of the X-Men titles sold only around 50 thousand copies each!
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 4, 2016 11:15 AM
@Ben, that's something i don't really understand about american cómic sales; I mean, U.S.A. is a huge country, lots of people there. How come that cómic books sell so poorly?
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | December 31, 2016 6:54 PM
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