After last issues explanation on the game between gods and demons, we fastforward to a quick recovery of the amulet, and the convergence of enemies as Hel promises different things to her pawns.
Purgatori is promised to recover her lost power from being transported to a new time. Jade is promised strength in her army of Khitai and the death of Chastity. Ernie is promised nothing as he is the only pawn who ends up in the middle of a battlefield and does his own thing, though he’s able to sense where the amulet is due to his abilities.
Since Ernie is a wildcard in this situation, but a pawn of Hel, we could potentially see him switch sides or help neither team, as he has no clear motive past getting the amulet. Wherein Jade and Purgatori are after Sonja and Chastity for different reasons, leading this match-up to become a two vs. two battle. Unless Lady Demon brings her sniper to this world or we find that she was sent here too, we’re seeing three clear sides, with Ernie appearing to have no loyalties.
Compared to the previous set-up issues, this issues strength lies in the plot and character developments by giving us an update on our villains whereabouts. Seeing where everyone else landed after the explosion, and giving new developments to their characters, alongside motivations, helps to move the plot forward at a good pace.
Seeing Jade already take over the kingdom of Khitai and amass an army in a short time, while Ernie can only resurrect a dragon and Purgatori barely survives a fight with Vikings; all of these aspects showcased the strengths and weaknesses of each enemy, providing a limitation and reason to pursue the amulet in some cases. Jade thirsts for the death of Chastity. Purgatori seeks to recover her power. Ernie wants the amulet, since it might help recover his powers. All of this results in moving the pace of the story faster to a conclusion and potential for all out fight between the powerhouses.
By the end of this issue, we also saw that Sonja and Chastity are shopping for weapons at the local market, which will allow the team to be better prepared for what’s to come.
Within this weeks 20 pages, Burnham excelled at giving us solid plot developments without filler. We’re given enough information about everyone and in a fluid manner that it progresses the story in a positive way without losing sight of the storyline and getting hung up on smaller details.
While Burnham does an amazing job at setting up the story further, Lady Demon getting the amulet back quickly felt rushed. Having Demon bring the amulet back immediately was necessary for the good plot elements of the villains, but the immediate retrieval, rather than seeing Sonja struggle to obtain the amulet or add some other sense of urgency, felt like a missed opportunity. It would’ve been nice to see Sonja in a few panels attempt to retrieve it herself or get Chastity to do it before reluctantly asking Lady Demon for help. Showing the heroes nature in that light would’ve added something different to their personalities.
Instead of showcasing the heroes do this, we get a deal with the Demon, for the sake of speeding up the stakes. Sonja agrees to do something for LAdy Demon’s sake at a future time. What this is however, is yet unknown, and it works as a plot device for the end of this arc, when Lady Demon beats Hel.
Using the favor as an important plot point for later in the series will help to give us different plots down the line, depending on how Burnham wants to play things out.
WE could see Sonja be sent to modern times with the rest of the characters of Chaos! comics. we could also see that favor being used to have Sonja kill Hel. There’s a lot of ways that Burnham could use what was established by fast-tracking the recovery of the amulet, and I look forward to seeing where the series goes from there.