WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Dark Ages #2, available now from Marvel.
The Marvel Universe has been plunged into the Dark Ages, and with this new lightless era comes the rise of everything that goes bump in the night. The world’s heroes may have saved it from complete destruction, but they couldn’t keep it from turning into a hunting ground for the monsters that have plagued it for centuries. Thankfully, there are still some heroes who thrive just as much in the dark as their enemies, and they know just how to play the hand they’ve been dealt.
With the fall of the impossibly powerful Unmaker, the world was cast in darkness, as the same electromagnetic pulse which quelled the threat and wiped out all electricity in the universe. While the remaining heroes managed to pull humanity through the worst and rebuild, the supernatural creatures which had for so long been relegated to the night found themselves in a never-before-seen age of opportunity. The supercities that now dotted the otherwise barren landscape were well fortified, yet still open to attack or infiltration, making them the perfect hunting grounds for vampires and werewolves alike. Luckily, these hubs of life are far from helpless, especially with their very own monster hunters keeping watch.
When one of the many webs set out by Spider-Man as a rudimentary security system is tripped in Dark Ages #2 by Tom Taylor, Iban Coello, Brian Reber and VC’s Joe Sabino, the world’s foremost night stalkers are there in no time at all to investigate. It isn’t any shock to see the likes of Blade and Elsa Bloodstone still standing firm against the forces of darkness, although their teammates are at least a bit more surprising. Alongside the daywalker and professional monster hunter are X-23’s Wolverine and Scout. Their heightened senses make them prime for sniffing out whatever threats come their way, and their healing factors keep them from falling prey to the vampires and werewolves that now prowl openly, yet it is the ways they have adapted to those specific threats that are the most stunning.
When preparing for the task at hand, Wolverine dips her claws into a roiling crucible, coating them in molten silver for the battle to come, all the while Elsa Bloodstone helps affix two wooden stakes to Scout’s own. Adamantium can cut through anything, but it doesn’t keep the legions of the damned down the same way that the tricks of Blade and Elsa’s trade do.
That vampires and werewolves have made Marvel’s Dark Ages into an all-you-can-eat buffet of victims shouldn’t have come as any surprise. Cosmic machinery and the threat of Apocalypse had already stolen the spotlight in the first issue of the series, so seeing supernatural creatures thriving acts as a powerful reminder of how dire the situation is even without any big bad looming overhead. At least there are still capable monster hunters keeping humanity safe at night. Here’s hoping they all get to take a break at literally any point in the future.
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