SHADOWPACT No. 10
"Cursed: Part Two of the Demon Triptych"
|Cover Art:||Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher
Colored by Mike Atiyeh
Ragman returns to Joshua Coldrake's Dark Tower to fetch Laura Fell, the Warlock's Daughter, whose term of incarceration in this magic-nullifying location expired some issues prior. After a bit of Bagman baiting, the duo rendezvous with Nightshade for a teleport back to the Oblivion Bar, Laura is left to her own devices while Ragman attends Nightmaster, still in a magical stasis preserving him at the moment before death. Nightshade joins the rhyming Blue Devil for a drink.
Turns out that Blue Devil has unintentionally done so much good for the public relations of Hell that he has been demoted (this is a good thing in Hell) to the level of a rhyming class demon, making him a lord of Hell, as revealed to him by his newly-assigned servant, Vortigar. Meanwhile, Etrigan is leading a slave rebellion in Hell using the Trident of Lucifer, appropriated from Blue Devil in the previous installment. Dan wants it back, but since Shadowpact is in such bad shape (Jim Rook is basically dead; Detective Chimp is in the hospital; Enchantress is going on over three days without sleep in order to keep her preservation spell active on Rook; and Ragman's rag prisoners are scared powerless by Etrigan), he and Nightshade must recruit Shadowpact temps from the Oblivion Bar for a mission to Hell.
Their recruitment pitch nets a new mystical hero named Eli Stone, calling himself the Midnight Rider, a powerful ghost named Acheron, and Laura Fell, trying to make good on her rehabilitation.
This installment contains one of the better ideas to come out of this series so far: the notion of using the Oblivion Bar as a recruiting grounds for a team member rotation whenever it becomes necessary. I've never really understood the rationale for the composition of Shadowpact, as it seemed more or less random to me (basically just a bunch of fun characters about whom nobody else cared and on whom Willingham could get his hands). Pulling team members from a random collection of mystical types based upon which of them is drunk and stupid enough to accept the mission seems as good a reason for inclusion in Shadowpact as anything else.
I think that Willingham is designing a pretty good framework for this series, though it's only really coming to shape after ten issues. Willingham's willingness to take his time getting there may spell an early death for this series, but I feel that the series does work. Though it works better, at this point, when read all together; it's a little slow when read episodically—especially given an installment such as this one which eschews the genre standard, cliffhanger ending. Still, I like where this is going, and in any case, I really dig Acheron's costume design. I'd totally wear something like that if I wouldn't be locked up for it.
This page last updated 25 February 2007.
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