Missed a couple of these, so let’s catch up.


Number of the Beast #4

By now, it should be obvious to readers that the superheroes are trapped in a virtual reality world, though most of the heroes themselves remain clueless. From the looks of things, the heroes and villains have been stuck in VR rigs for the last 40 or 50 years, forced to relive an Armageddon scenario over and over and over. For what purpose? We haven’t been told that yet. But back in the real world, the High has regenerated enough to get free of his VR tube, and Dr. Sin is also roaming around free. The government has decided to shut down the project and terminate the heroes, and inside the program, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been loosed on the virtual world. Hotfoot, desperately trying to save as many lives as he can to make up for a lifetime of villainy, gets an arrow through his leg, courtesy of Pestilence, while Engine Joe gets War’s sword stuck through his chest.


Number of the Beast #5

Dr. Sin is running the VR facility, while the military tries to get inside. The High has been forced back inside the virtual world, and the superheroes have been told that he’s the Antichrist. On the bright side, that leaves him free to kill as many of the Paladins as he can, because when they die in the virtual world, they wake up in the real one. But do they still have time to save themselves and the other prisoners in the VR tubes before the government has them all killed?

Verdict: For both, thumbs up. Things seem to be progressing quite nicely. I like Hotfoot’s slow redemption, though that may get interrupted now that he’s out of the VR world. I do hope most of these characters survive so they can re-enter Wildstorm’s continuity — they’re too interesting to just get discarded.

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