Appearing in "Chapter Four: Stress Test"
- Crom (Mentioned)
- The Hand (Mentioned)
- Lisa Castle (Corpse possessed by a Xholtan Skin-Walker in main story and death in recap)
- Frank Castle, Jr. (Corpse possessed by a Xholtan Skin-Walker in main story and death in recap)
- Maria Castle (Corpse possessed by a Xholtan Skin-Walker in main story and death in recap)
- Space Knights (Mentioned)
- Rom (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Xholtan Skin-Walkers (First appearance)
- Demons (Mentioned)
- Dragons (Mentioned)
- Genies (Mentioned)
- Hell (Invoked)
- Swamps of Ogun (Mentioned)
- Van Allen Belt (Referenced)
- Wolverine's Suit
- Adamantium (On Wolverine's claws)
- Elektra's Suit and Twin Sai
- Punisher's Suit and Arsenal
Synopsis for "Chapter Four: Stress Test"
As Jhoatun Lau rises from the pool of blood, Kulan Gath humbly greets the eldritch god and bids it to feast on the Earth's biosphere in exchange for taking Kulan Gath and his cult with it when it departs. Logan lunges and stabs Jhoatun Lau in the neck with his adamantium claws, but the Marrow God pulls him into its body. Conan invokes Crom in horror, Elektra asking Doctor Voodoo if he has anything. Doctor Voodoo says he's still trying to figure out what they're up against, advising they focus on taking out Kulan Gath.
Conan's symbiote commands him to slay the eldritch god, the barbarian warrior lunging at Jhoatun Lau with his abyssal blade. The Punisher confronts Kulan Gath and opens fire with an assault rifle, furiously demanding to know where his family is. Elektra stabs Kulan Gath in the heart with one of her sai, telling Castle to decapitate the sorcerer. Kulan Gath scoffs and removes the sai, sneering that he cannot be killed by her crude methods. Remarking that he knows all about her thanks to the Hand, he tells her to die and join them again. As Kulan throws Elektra's sai back at her, Conan deflects it with his symbiote-sword. Blasting Conan back, Kulan Gath remarks that he hadn't expected to see him again and wonders how he came to be so far away from Cimmeria. Snarling that the Punisher is annoying him, Kulan Gath grabs Castle by the face and views his memories of the day he lost his family, mockingly accusing him of having used his wife as a human shield. As Castle is left stunned by being forced to relive his worst memories, Kulan Gath opens a portal to Shanghai and sends Jhoatun Lau through, Conan clinging to the Marrow God's equine hindquarters. Shouting for Castle to snap out of it, Elektra grabs his assault rifle and opens fire, but is too late to stop the Marrow God from disappearing through the portal.
Remarking that he's tired, Kulan Gath walks towards a pyramid to take a nap. Doctor Voodoo confronts him, demanding to know why he summoned Jhoatun Lau to Earth. Blocking Doctor Voodoo's barrage of magic blasts, Kulan Gath remarks that he's just testing how robust the world's immune system is, and where its weak points are. Addressing Castle, Kulan Gath states he will return his family to him - conjuring their coffins before disappearing into the pyramid. The coffins burst open and Maria Castle, Lisa Castle, and Frank Castle Jr. appear. As the astonished Punisher steps towards them, Doctor Voodoo warns him not to speak. Calling out to his wife, Castle shoves Elektra and Doctor Voodoo out of the way, but Doctor Voodoo magically removes his mouth before unmasking Frank's family as a trio of Xholtan Skin-Walkers. Exorcising the demons from the Castle family's corpses and returning the bodies to their coffins, Doctor Voodoo restores the Punisher's mouth and says that Xholtan Skin-Walkers are master illusionists that bind those who speak to them - and those bonds are difficult to undo. As Castle breaks down in tears, Doctor Voodoo turns and summons a portal, telling Elektra to leave him to mourn. Elektra snaps at Castle to get over himself and man up, the Punisher stoically picking up his assault rifle and swiping Doctor Voodoo's sunglasses.
As they arrive in Shanghai, they're greeted by the sight of Jhoatun Lau -- who has grown to colossal sizes. Greeting his allies, Conan informs them that the more the Marrow God eats the bigger it gets. Jhoatun Lau stomps on Conan, the barbarian's symbiote screeching. As Doctor Voodoo tells Elekra to get the Avengers, Elektra states they may have another problem. Transformed into a massive symbiote-dragon by Jhoatun Lau's cosmic radiation, Venom furiously demands to know who has enslaved a member of its kind, grabbing onto Jhoatun Lau and biting its shoulder. Logan rips his way out of the Marrow God's stomach, Venom reacting in disgust. As Jhoatun Lau grabs a bus and tries to devour its occupants, Venom snatches the bus from the Marrow God's hands. As she, Conan, and Logan hack at the Marrow God, Elektra tells Voodoo to teleport it off Earth. Doctor Voodoo retorts that the best he can manage is the Swamps of Ogun, which might not be good enough. Confronting Conan, Venom demands to know what a "nude weight-lifter" is doing with a symbiote, demanding Conan relinquish its brethren before it sacrifices itself healing his wounds. Conan refuses, saying that the dark genie is carrying out Crom's will; confusing Venom, who mistakes Crom for Rom of the Space Knights. As Venom reiterates its demand for Conan to relinquish his symbiote and Conan vehemently refuses, Elektra intervenes and tells them to save their squabble until after Jhoatun Lau is vanquished. Doctor Voodoo remarks that Jhoatun Lau is too big for him to teleport, but that Venom, Conan, and Logan proved it could be cut. Elektra remarks that now they just need to cut it to death, the Punisher adding that once the Marrow God is dead he's calling dibs on Kulan Gath.
• The one evil wizard to rule them all, Kulan Gath has succeeded in summoning an ancient evil… and he’s already hard at work on his next terrible plan.
• Conan swings his savage symbiotic sword against the forces of darkness…
• …and Frank Castle has the worst day of his life. (If you don’t count that day in the park.)
• The Savage Avengers are fighting to save YOU!
- The Xholtan Skin-Walkers impersonating Lisa Castle and Frank Castle Jr. are shown with inverted hair colors.
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- 6 Image(s) from Savage Avengers Vol 1 4
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