Image Comics releases issue #4 of The Mantle this week. In anticipation of the new installment, we are going to look back at where we left off the last time. (Click here for a list of what’s coming out tomorrow. We split the list into two groups: new single issues and new HC, TP, and Reprints.)
Meet Jen and Robbie. One evening, as they head home from a night of clubbing, Robbie is struck by some weird form of electricity and passes out. He wakes up back home with Jen, and they are surrounded by three superheroes who have come for Robbie: the strongwoman Kebrah, a medium named Necra who can visit purgatory, and Shadow, who has the ability to teleport the team, but only if they are in darkness. They explain that Robbie has been chosen as the new Mantle. Mantle is the protector of mankind and each time one is killed, a new one is chosen. They are there to take Robbie to safety because The Plague is coming. The Plague hunts down each new Mantle and kills them. Kebrah, Necra and Shadow try to prepare each new chosen one but it seems like they really have their work cut out for them this time. Shadow transports everyone, including Jen, to a remote island so Robbie can test out his powers. He can fly, manipulate his energy shield and pretty much do anything he can imagine. He also learns there have been more than a hundred Mantles in the past century, thirty-eight in just the last ten years. Suddenly, The Plague shows up. Robbie decides to take him on but is no match. He is quickly beheaded. The Plague warns the others not to try and hide the Mantle from him again, leaving Jen to cradle a headless Robbie.
As the other superheroes try to decide what to do next, Jen ends up becoming the new Mantle. The superheroes want to get Jen to safety, but she rejects them, blaming them for Robbie’s death and instead flies away with Robbie’s remains and heads to a hospital hoping that he can be saved. The nurses take away the body and place Jen in a room so she can rest and wait for a doctor to examine her. Exhausted by the recent events, Jen passes out and the nurses call the police. What else would you do if a girl walks in wearing a costume and carrying a headless corpse? But within minutes, The Plague shows up. He starts to terrorize the patients and doctors in the ER. Jen wakes up to find Shadow and Necra in her hospital room so they can take her to safety. She starts to argue with them but ends up passing out. So, with an unconscious Mantle, they teleport to a secret location a kilometer underground. When Jen wakes up, she meets Walter, aka CCTV, who can see everything and can tell if The Plague is on his way. This seems like a safe spot for Jen to be trained, but before she starts, it is decided that she should meet the previous Mantles. So Necra takes Jen to Purgatory.
The first person they run into is Robbie but Necra wants to find Hank, the original Mantle who faced The Plague. He explains how, in the 1950s, he was just a nameless High School Janitor before he was chosen. For a decade he was unstoppable, until The Plague showed up. Hank won a harrowing battle and had the opportunity to kill The Plague, yet decided not to go down that path. The Plague was taken away by the military but he easily escaped and went on a murderous rampage. Before killing Hank, The Plague killed hundreds of people, including his loved ones. When Jen pressed on how Hank won the first time, he admitted that he couldn’t remember, because he was drunk. The only advice he could offer Jen was to say goodbye to her loved ones.
After returning to the world of the living, Jen learns that as long as she doesn’t use her powers, The Plague can’t find her. But he is relentless and as his patience wears thin, he will start to kill innocent people. The massacre will continue until the Mantle cannot take it any longer and decides to come out of hiding. Jen decides to take Hanks advised. She plans to go home, see her family, have a few drinks and then wait for The Plague in a secluded place. She tells Shadow to take her home so she can say her goodbyes. Turns out, all she wants to do is hold her cat, Casper, one last time. Returning to the underground safe house, Shadow discovers The Plague. Everyone has been beaten to near death. All Shadow has to do to spare their lives is to tell The Plague where Mantle has been taken to.
I’m not sure if I will be able to sleep until I get this next issue of this comic. Issue #4 promises that “Sometimes, when it seems all is lost and thousands of lives are at stake, you find yourself seeking the advice of a three story tall talking cat.” Oh boy! This sounds amazing!
Have fun picking up your new issues and don’t forget to check out some of the other topics on this blog, such as Monday Cinema Club, Bookworm Tuesday, Anything Can Happen Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Friday’s Week in Review.
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