(July 2007)


"Bad Tidings & Evil Deeds"

Writer: Bill Willingham
Guest Artist: Scott Hampton
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Asst. Editor: Stephanie Buscema
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Art: Scott Hampton
Colored by Mike Atiyeh


Remember that rapscallian Jeremy Karne, a.k.a. Karnevil (last seen in [SHADOWPACT No. 3], dummy—get with the program)? Well, when Shadowpact decided to incarcerate him at Joshua Coldrake's Dark Tower, they forgot to mention to anybody that his sole "power", as it were, is merely being...wait a second—what was that you said again, Phantom Stranger?

Phantom Stranger: "He has more raw will than any creature I've encountered in my long existence. And his will is directed toward one thing alone. Cold-blooded murder."

Thanks for clearing that up, pal. So yeah, he's just a sociopath, which means that he was simply biding his time for a portal back to Earth. When he gets one, he kills some people and goes home. Clearly reformation isn't something they do all that well at Coldrake's place. I've got a prediction for Karnevil: recidivism. You might want to look that up, Coldrake.

God needs his dry cleaning picked up

Meanwhile, Doctor Gotham, the big bad behind Strega and her Pentacle operation, decides enough is enough—he's through waiting—so he brings a modicum of an other-dimensional dude called the Sun King (no, not [that] Sun least...I don't think so, but it would be kind of funny if it turned out to be Louis XIV, I guess) through to Earth's plane of existence. Sadly, this requires the termination of Strega who, let's face it, had it coming. I don't feel sorry for her or her weird, metal half-face.

While that's going on, the half-fallen, mortalized Zauriel is flying about doing deeds (the good kind) when he's interrupted by the floating head of Abariel who says that God, or whoever, is pretty pissed that [Blue Devil] has such a sweet rep. That simply won't do—he's making Hell look good—so he needs to go down, like, yesterday. Get on that, Z-dawg.

Wait a sec—where was Shadowpact? Oh yeah. Page one. I knew they were in there somewhere.



Behold Zauriel! And wonder...wait a second...who the hell is Zauriel again? Ahhh, that's a matter best left to experts. Go read Wikipedia or something. I'm just warning you, he's a Grant Morrison creation, so prepare to be baffled.

I'm pretty sure that I've read in total one comic book featuring Zauriel, and that was a guest shot in the late, lamented by none (except for me—I loved it) SPECTRE series by J. M. DeMatteis (I mean, seriously, I've never talked to anybody else who loved it as much as I did...or even moderately enjoyed it). Come to think of it, it may have been two issues. And come to think of it, wasn't he trying to lay a smack down on Hal/Spectre pretty much like he's trying to lay a smack down on Blue Devil here? Criminy—don't make me dig into my back issues. They're all in my wife's closet these days, and she's got a fortress of clothing and papers erected upon them.

Anyway, he's a tool. Nuff said.

Kids, don't try this at home. On second thought, give it a try.

Moving on...I had left this comic laying out on the coffee table when some friends of ours came over, and this one guy decided to start flipping through it, but was, apparently, pretty traumatized when he got to the page of Karnevil tossing a sword through some schlemiel's face. I'm not sure what it says about me or the current state of comic books that that didn't phase me in the least. Poor Juvo, we hardly knew you.1

Those few terrible words: Where's the Beef?

One of the benefits of synopsizing this one a few months after the fact is that I now catch the last page bit about the wizard knights, the Homo Magi, marching on Earth's dimension. Boy, Bill Willingham really snuck that one by me the first time around. By the time the book references it again in [SHADOWPACT No. 16], you've totally forgotten about it.

Now that I see that plotline leading somewhere, I find myself anxiously looking forward, as well, to the continuation of the final two panels: the first regarding the pestilence growing over the Nightshade Dimension, and the second regarding this old codger. I had actually forgotten all about him until I reread [DAY OF VENGEANCE No. 6] and noticed that he turned up on one of the final pages. He was one of the poor souls who got weirdly empowered as a result of being in proximity to a falling shard of the Rock of Eternity.

This page last updated 29 August 2007.

1. I know it wasn't Juvo who died like that, okay, but he was the only named character in that scene. Plus...he has a funny name.

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