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Quote1 God is coming. And when Our Lord Knull arrives... we would really like you to be there to greet him. Quote2
-- Church of the New Darkness soldier

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

In the bowels of the Ravencroft Institute, Frank Castle and Misty Knight trade barbed complements as they combat the horde of mutated vampires assailing them - Castle noting that the wrist-mounted blades on Misty's cybernetic arm are ripping off Wolverine. When he asks if she can put him in touch with her supplier, Misty bluntly refuses and says that just because they're fighting alongside each other doesn't make them friends. As more mutant vampires arrive, Castle tells Misty to use hit-and-run tactics; Misty grousing that they seem to be doing most of the running while the vampires are doing most of the hitting.

In the Institute's control room, Bud Adams laments that he dislikes torture but that John Jameson is giving him no choice. When Adams says he's not a bad guy, John snaps that only villains say that before complaining about being chained up next to Norman Osborn. As John and Osborn bicker, Adams accuses the latter of aiding Misty Knight in her escape; John remarking that Osborn's one good deed has bought them some time. Pointing at the detonation timer, Adams disagrees, saying that he has no intention of surviving the institute's destruction but is willing to let Jameson go in exchange for the Journal of Jonas Ravencroft. When Jameson sneers that Adams has no intent of letting anyone live, Adams has Dennis Dunphy and Dr. Ashley Kafka brought in. Dr. Kafka reveals that Dunphy is dying from his injuries, and Adams offers to save him by turning him into a vampire in exchange for the journal. John confesses he has no idea where the journal is and that it mysteriously vanished, enraging Adams.

In the Institute's basement, Castle tells Misty to save a bullet for herself so that she can die on her own terms rather than be turned into a vampire. Just as they're overwhelmed, a barrage of gunfire and explosives massacres the Unwanted attacking them, and they turn to see the Hobgoblin, Scorpion, Taskmaster, and Wilson Fisk. Discarding the corpse of a telepathic vampire, Fisk remarks that the Unwanted tried to trick them with illusions but that he saw through them right away. As Castle takes aim at Fisk, Taskmaster, Scorpion, and the guards ask for permission to kill the Punisher. Fisk states that they should put their differences aside to stop their common enemy, Misty begrudgingly agreeing with him and asking if Castle is really insane enough to open fire when he's hopelessly outgunned; Castle sneering and asking what she thinks.

In the control room, Adams points to the timer and says they're all going to die unless someone knows where the journal is hidden, turning to Osborn. Osborn snaps that he's only interested in not getting blown up, but their confrontation is interrupted by the sound of an explosion; an Unwanted entering the room to inform Adams that there's a problem. On the main floor, the Kingpin, Misty, Castle, Scorpion, Taskmaster, and the Hobgoblin fight alongside each other, Misty quipping that she's glad Castle decided to come around to the whole "common enemy" argument. Adams sends the Unwanted to hold them off until the timer finishes counting down, Osborn sneering that John could end this at any point by turning into Man-Wolf. Calling John a coward for being afraid of hurting others, Osborn snaps that he was controlled by Carnage as well but isn't crying about it. Furious, John taps into the Godstone and transforms into Man-Wolf, breaking free of the ropes binding him. As Adams protests that John is ruining everything, Man-Wolf viciously mauls him and then deactivates the self-destruct, punching Osborn out as he gloats that John owes him a thank-you for snapping him out of his depression.

One week later, Fisk holds a press conference where he states that he's stepping down as Acting Warden of Ravencroft and nominating John Jameson in his place. Stepping forward, John says he will do his utmost to honor the wishes of Dr. Jonas Ravencroft by running the institute as a place of healing rather than a bedlam house, with the help of Misty Knight, the now-vampiric Dennis Dunphy, and Dr. Kafka. Watching the press coverage on a massive viewscreen, the Council of J.A.N.U.S. - G.W. Bridge, Malcolm Colcord, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Monica Rappaccini, James Hudson, and Madame Viper - congratulate Norman Osborn for his successes as their mole: redeeming John Jameson so that he can serve as an asset, though his initial attempt using Mister Hyde backfired; secretly stealing Dr. Ravencroft's journal; and recovering a clone of Ashley Kafka made by New U Technologies, then hiring Dr. Malus to falsify her bloodwork to make Jameson believe she was the original.

In the Institute, Adams - strapped to a gurney - begs to be let go, protesting that he healed Dunphy as promised and did everything else they asked of him. Ignoring him, Dr. Kafka and Dr. Malus cart him into a state-of-the-art laboratory where the Unwanted are being vivisected and experimented on, Adams screaming in horror.

At J.A.N.U.S.'s HQ, the Council remarks that while Norman was unable to secure the capture of Frank Castle, they are nonetheless satisfied now that Dr. Ravencroft's journal is in their possession; enabling them to use it to unlock the Ravencroft Institute's secrets. The Council dispatches a crew of PMCs to the secret laboratory in the asylum's basement, a pair of soldiers walking towards the vault that had housed the Unwanted. As one soldier remarks that they don't have much to do, the other soldier tells him to speak for himself before promptly shooting him in the head. Crossing the chamber to where a spiral-shaped sigil is carved into the wall, the soldier removes one of his gloves to reveal the same sigil marked on his palm. The soldier - a mole for the Church of the New Darkness - says that Knull is coming; pressing his hand to the wall and opening a hidden chamber containing the tomb of Cortland Kasady, who the cult intends to resurrect.

Solicit Synopsis

• It was bound to happen — the gates are off the hinges as everything bursts to the surface!

• What lies in store for the future of Ravencroft?

Notes

  • Physical publication of this issue was temporarily canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was instead released digitally.[1] It was later released in physical format on September 9, 2020.[2]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Marvel Comics Reveals Additional Release Dates for New Digital-First Titles. Marvel (27 May 2020). Retrieved on 27 May 2020.
  2. Johnston, Rich (7 July 2020). Marvel Puts 19 Missing or Digital-Only Comics Into Print After All. BleedingCool. Retrieved on 7 July 2020.



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