Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Leonard Kirk
After the shocking stabbing of Spitfire at the end of last issue, I was expecting a quick resolution to that problem with Faiza, the doctor who is now wielding Excalibur, to simply heal her instantly. What we ended up with was far from what I expected and a tad confusing, to say the least.
Spitfire, who is a vampire, was stabbed by Blade last issue. A giant stake in the heart, which I imagine Blade didn't miss with his sneak attack, should have killed her, right? Instead, Pete Wisdom pulls the stake out, Blade jumps out of the helicopter to escape capture and Spitfire is good as new afterwards. I'm a bit confused as to what happens here. Why isn't she dead (undead? Un-undead?)?
Meanwhile, the big magical disaster MI 13 came to investigate turns out to be the Mindless Ones, last seen in Nextwave, and their leader, Plokta, the Mindful One. I'm not sure as to what exactly is going on, but Plokta has taken over a neighbourhood and is inducing dreams of the perfect lives for the citizens living there as he siphons off life energy of some sort.
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of magic for reasons such as the premise of this storyline, but the dialogue and pacing of the story, which doesn't leave you time to dwell on these types of things, more than make up for it.
Captain Britain, who was on the scene first, handles the situation in an unorthadox fashion - he actually talks to the villain to find out what's going on instead of simply smashing stuff first, asking questions later. A rather refreshing take to super heroing.
Meanwhile, Blade, who dropped on site of this magical incursion, ends up clashing with Spitfire, who entered the buildings to save people (ya, that chest wound didn't really do anything). I really enjoyed their dialogue and the entire scene, right down to the final, "oh, Blade is going to get along with her now scene", which ended up going the complete other way as Blade politely asks her to die if she is now in control because she should know she's a monster.
In the end, we cut back to see Plokta offering Captain Britain his greatest desire, his wife, Meggan, whom I'm guessing is currently dead based on the reaction. With how solid the writing has been on the title, barring the whole stabbing / she got better incident, I imagine Cornell will avoid the pitfalls of the cliched "dream world / willpower struggle" that these types of stories can invoke and give us another great issue next month.
Verdict - Must Read. Grab the second or third printings, or even the trades, and get on board this series. Even if you've never been a fan or if you don't have any experience with these characters, just give this book a shot.