(August 2005)


Chapter Three: "A Hot Night in Budabest"

Writer: Bill Willingham
Penciller: Ron Wagner
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joey Cavalieri


Budapest, Hungary: The battle between the Spectre and Captain Marvel is laying waste to the city, and Marvel is scraping the bottom of his magical barrel for the power to withstand Spectre's onslaught. Meanwhile, the heroes of the Oblivion Bar have taken the fight to Eclipso, with little luck.

Dayton, Ohio: [Detective Chimp] is driving [Nightshade] up the wall with his terrible joke names for their mystical hero team while they seek out the one mortal more powerful than the Spectre.

Blue Devil, the sensitive Hell demon

Budapest: The [Enchantress] informs [Blue Devil] that the reason she's standing around apparently doing nothing while her teammates are getting beat on is because she has insinuated herself into the magical energy stream powering Captain Marvel, and has tapped her own magical reserves to add to those of the Big Red Cheese. The Blue Devil gives her the bright idea to tap the magical powers of other surviving mystic types, including himself just as soon as he thrusts the Trident of Lucifer through Eclipso's belly.

Legions give it up for the cause, and Captain Marvel grows epically powerful, enough to turn the tables on the Spectre. The only problem is that the Enchantress is just about at the breaking point.

Dayton: Detective Chimp asks a neighborhood dog to lead them to their destination, and they arrive at the home of the teenager Lori Zechlin.


Detective Chimp: What have you ever done that's so special?
Nightshade: How about volunteer for this suicide mission when a bar full of smarter, better, more popular magic heroes had the good sense to keep their mouths shut?
Detective Chimp: ... Okay, girlie, you got me with that one. No matter what else, you did step up when it was your turn. You got some pepper in you, Nightshade.



I quite enjoyed this installment. It wasn't perfect, and I can't say that too much truly happened, but I just really appreciated the conceit of the soon-to-be-Shadowpact group fighting a smaller battle on the sidelines while the main attraction was happening without them. Captain Marvel was a smart choice here, and I think that Bill Willingham was very clever in how he used Marvel as sort of a mystical receiver for supernatural powers. Does this comport with anything we've learned about Captain Marvel in the past? Well, I'll be damned if I know. But as a casual reader of the character, the idea worked with me.

I sort of like the Blue Devil's duds at this point in his career. They're a little S&M, to be sure, but also kind of bad-ass. I wonder what that says about me. Mostly, I just dig the studded gauntlets. I couldn't really see him wearing any part of this ensemble ever since Willingham lightened him up again, but in this tale, despite his playful smooch on Enchantress's cheek, he's a fairly dour personality in general. I suppose I understand why he would be, and I can't really hold it against Willingham for writing him that way—it is more the chain of events leading to this phase in his life that irk me. All things considered, this story gets a pretty good use out of him.

Not only is Blue Devil the narrator of installment, but he's also the guy who figures out how to Biggie-Size Captain Marvel—which, by the way, was a well-written sequence that was genuinely inspiring. So yeah...despite some minor problems, I thought DAY OF VENGEANCE No. 3 was pretty keen.

Oh, guest penciller Ron Wagner does a pretty decent job with the pictures in this issue. Somewhat less cartoony than Justiniano can be, but still a similar style, at least as inked and colored here. Not sure why I haven't seen more from this artist, as he's not half bad. Probably, I'm just not reading the right books.

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