X-Terminators #3 (1988, December)
The teens are in the NY Public Library’s Main Branch. Yay for libraries! I remember checking months ago if the NYPL’s Main Branch had its stacks open to the public, and from what I can gather, it doesn’t; you have to ask the clerk for what you’re looking for. Which makes sense, honestly. But hey, there’s all sorts of crazy demonic stuff going on, so I can believe that the clerks aren’t paying much attention to people coming in. Anyway, the kids are checking out some aerial maps to find the graveyard from Artie’s message. Then demons start throwing books at them. Rusty starts trying to burn them, until Skids calls him out on it. Good girl, Skids. No book-burning! Be good to books. They’re important. They’re a sign of a society’s progress. Books!
I do also like Boom-Boom’s line. They continue to be assaulted by books, with another patron calling it something out of Ghostbusters. Inferno has a loooot of pop-culture shout-outs, actually, most of which are over my head. Outside, they get attacked by the lions by the stairs.
Out in the Queens graveyard, a couple cops are checking out reports, with one saying he feels like a bit player in a ’50s horror flick. Aw, poor guy. He knows what’s going on, but he is helpless to avoid his fate. He has his role, and all he can do is play it out. They get attacked by demons, and are dragged into the mausoleum, where Crotus gets Taki to tell N’astirh about computers. Taki refuses to help, until N’astirh threatens Artie and Leech. Taki agrees to give a demonstration of what he can do, transforming the cops’ guns into a laser gun, which N’astirh laughs at and turns into a weird demon bug thing.
Back in Manhattan, the kids go into the subway, where Boom-Boom blows up a demonic turnstile as they all get onto a train. The train, predictably, is possessed and tries to kill them. Back in Queens, N’astirh boasts that, while S’ym thinks he’s using N’astirh, N’astirh’s using him. He takes a quick peek into Limbo, where S’ym and the New Mutants are fighting, which is a scene from New Mutants #71. Taki agrees to help N’astirh, but he has some conditions.
Back on the subway, we learn that the Morlocks all know how to run trains. What?! That’s, uh . . . OK, whatever. So, Skids stops the train, and they all get off. Then get attacked by rats. The demons bring the things Taki demanded, but he’s still refusing to work. So N’astirh sets his demons on one of the cops, and then threatens Taki. Elsewhere, the teens get out of the subway, and are attacked by some bikers. The kids steal their bikes, at Boom-Boom’s suggestion. Turns out she kinda loves motorcycles. She used to date a guy who owned one.
They get to the graveyard, and get into the mausoleum. Taki’s finished the spell computer, but N’astirh can’t use it, so N’astirh tells Taki to do it, or his friends will be eaten. The teens jump in to fight the demons and save the babies. And get beaten up. N’astirh has Taki enter a spell to teleport them to Times Square. The demons take the babies up to put them in the sky in a pentagram formation. A giant portal is opened to Limbo, allowing Limbo to begin pouring through.
This is good. There’s a good mixture of fun and tension. There’s plenty of humour all through the issue – shockingly, Boom-Boom isn’t even the main source of it – but there’s definitely a lot of tension to it, as things get progressively darker. Taki trying to stall is fun, but N’astirh’s growing impatience starts to kill that fun. His constant threats could have been annoying and made him look weak. But he did kill a couple cops, and as the issue goes on, his threats actually start to seem more serious and sincere. Taki certainly takes them more seriously, and gets more scared. It’s done very well.
The teens dealing with the demonic New York is a lot of fun. Just crazy things happening all over, and it’s great. And it really lets Bogdanove have fun, too. He does great demonic stuff. His style’s very cartoony, which works really well for unnatural stuff. It also makes dark stuff a lot more effective. Bogdanove’s great.
So, good issue.