And it all comes down to this – Kate and Cate have mustered every ally they can think of. Will this be enough to defeat the First Shadow? Find out in Exorsisters #10 from Image Comics!
Writer: Ian Boothby
Artist: Gisèle Lagacé
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Branwyn Bigglestone
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 7, 2020
Previously in Exorsisters: The First Shadow is preparing to destroy the world. Stopping it is going to require Kate, Cate, and a whole lot of help. They gather petty demons, the armies of Heaven, and the armies of Satan. The girls’ father, recently possessed himself, is institutionalized again, and his ex-wife shows up. They talk for a while about their break-up and she boots him out of existence. Kate releases Fish, and it turns out that he is a flaming hellhound, much to Cate’s surprise. As the First Shadow gets ready to attack, Kate can feel it inside her, and their combined army shows up just in the nick of time!
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
Exorsisters #10 opens as shadows come to life and steal people off the streets. Even so, it is not without its humor. Kate steps up with a flaming sword to protect a little girl. It turns out it is Gabriel’s sword, and he wants it back, thank you very much. Kate hands it back, thanking him for the loan, which he describes as her grabbing it out of his hand and running away, laughing. This is so perfectly Kate, and I can just see it. The First Shadow puts in an appearance to taunt the girls. Kate summons Fish and sends him into the fray.
And then their mom shows up. Her deal with the First Shadow involved her getting a small pocket world of her own where she could survive safely. She has gathered up a handful of other people, including their father, and wants them to come with her. Cate is indignant about her selfishness. But then she drops the information that Kate still has a shard of the First Shadow inside her from when it tried to possess her. That’s why she’s been feeling ill, and how she gets a general sense of what it’s up to. Kate does her math and realizes that possessing a small fraction of infinite power is, in fact, infinite power. She grows as large as the First Shadow and they start slugging it out toe to toe. Instead of fleeing, Cate remains to help her.
The First Shadow hates the universe and everything in it for messing up its perfect void, but it hates Kate most of all. She uses this hatred to goad it into killing her. But this is not the end – this is Kate taking advantage of their connection, and she quips that someone should do a “Why were you hitting yourself?” joke. I love her sense of humor. The whole set up has been perfect for her to be able to play this role.
But even with the First Shadow defeated, Kate is dying. Cate convinces her to try merging with her again, despite the pain, on the off chance that their combined strength might yet save her. And what happens next is a heck of an ending that I was not expecting. It’s marvelous.
A WILD APOCALPYSE
The artwork of Exorsisters #10 is crisp and dynamic. The only thing that doesn’t quite work for me is the opening appearance of the First Shadow as a random bunch of shadowy tentacles. They’re on a small enough scale at first that they look creepy, but not all-out terrifying. That quickly improves when first we see its eyes and grin in a shadowy sky overhead. That’s a terrifying image. It does take on a humanoid form but keeps the glowing facial features that are a terrific hallmark.
The depiction of Kate and Cate is truly charming. We know that one of them is the person and the other is her soul. Obvious they’re connected, but we can see that their connection is truly deep and affectionate. That affection also extends to Fish. Kate knows she is doomed in this battle and says her good-bye, and he gives her the most perfect, if flaming, sad puppy dog eyes. When she pulls on the power of the First Shadow within her she becomes huge as well, and the fight scene is a lot of fun.
BOTTOM LINE: A GRAND BUT TIDY ENDING
I love how Exorsisters #10 ties together so many threads and delivers a surprising but satisfying ending. I really enjoy seeing a book about how forces traditionally seen as representing Good and Evil can recognize a common threat and work together for their common benefit. It’s a delightful book with just a bit of goofiness to spice it up.
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It’s the epic final battle with the First Shadow – and things will not be the same!