Dead Man’s Tales review

Dead Man's Tales (Midnight Massacre, #5)Dead Man’s Tales by Howard Mackie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is it folks, the final issue of the Midnight Massacre. So far it’s faired miles better than the first Midnight Sons crossover, lets see how it finishes up.

**Note: this is my first review of a Spirits of Vengeance book… but it’s just basically a second Ghost Rider title a month, so I don’t really care to put the usual disclaimer on.**

The issue opens with a kickass shot of all the dead Midnight Sons. Once again I get to see what my favorite Darkhold characters would look like in the hands of a mainstream comicbook artist, and am jealous. Anyway, we basically start the same place we left off in Morbius #12, which SwitchBlade taking on all the remaining Midnight Sons… which is essentially Ghost Rider and a bunch of mostly powerless people.

SwitchBlade breaks into the Sanctum Santorium but GR cannot follow… there are mystical barriers that only the Demogorge was powerful enough to bypass, thanks to Modred’s magic. He reaches the darkhold, but Strange has safeguards in place that blast the book outside and is about to transport it to another dimension, Louise Hastings and Ghost Rider hatch a plan where GR will distract SwitchBlade while Louise finds the correct spell and uses it. In a particularly brutal scene, SwitchBlade actually succeeds in killing Ghost Rider and absorbs his power… including the Penance Stare. This makes SwitchBlade feel all the pain he himself has caused, which as you can imagine is a fair bit. He’s in agony.

Nice plot twist. I feel like maybe I should have seen it coming, but I honestly didn’t. Either way, it gives Louise enough time to use the darkhold to reverse Blade’s transformation and bring back all the people he killed… but at a great personal cost, which is not revealed to us here. Interesting.

This basically wraps it up. Everyone goes their seperate ways. My only issue is that there was no reprecussions for Blade. I mean, I’m sure there will be in the next issue of Nightstalkers (we’ll get there guys, you just wait), but all the other Midnight Sons act with reversing the spell fixes the whole issue. He wasn’t under the spell when he started on this rampage, he sought the spell out! And there’s been no evidence to suggest that his will was in any way affected by the spell! Big plot hole guys. BIG.

Mostly good. Satisfying conclusion to the story… and, oddly, this would technically be the first time an issue of Darkhold hasn’t ended with a cliffhanger. I mean, if we could this as Darkhold. Darkhold #11 ended with the cliffhanger to the next chapter in the saga… and this one gives us a fairly concrete ending. Huh. It’s almost refreshing. Anyway, that’s a side issue. This one gets 4/5, with points removed for weird bullshit treatment of Blade at the end.

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