ficticons: Icon of Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, drawn by a fan (steph!batgirl)
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In which things get more difficult for our young heroes. Six scans under the cut.

The issue opens with Cassie, who is still trapped in a cage in Rankor's "court".

"...things can always change in a flash."

Yup. Bart, who was sent ahead as a scout in the last issue, manages to find Cassie. But instead of going back to tell Gar and the others what he's found, he says he'll save all Rankor's prisoners - Cassie and Helena, Vijay and Rani, and Tim and Rose.

He quickly finds, however, that he can't vibrate through the cage because "some kind of magic is at work".

Rankor, meanwhile, is watching with a sort of amusement. "Fool," he says, "You cannot even save yourself. Your doom was sealed the moment you ventured into my realm."


"Weak indeed," says a six-armed demon who suddenly appears out of nowhere. His first punch connects with a rather startled Kon, who then uses his heat vision to engage the demon in battle. But he makes the mistake of letting his attention drift away from "Rose".

Kon: Ravager, go! Get the others.
"Rose": I am not leaving.
Kon: I can handle this.
"Rose": No, I do not believe you can.

She pounces on him from behind and between one demon literally on his back and another punching his face, Kon is quickly defeated.

All of a sudden the Rose-demon is blasted by one of Solstice's energy beams. She, Raven, and Gar rush in to attempt a rescue.

Gar yells at Raven to get Kon to safety, but before she can do that the demon who impersonated Rose now impersonates her - taking control of, reveling in, and releasing her dark side.

Demon: Don't you know which side to fight for? The light burns, does it not? Why inflict such pain upon yourself? You belong with us. At heart, we are the same. Demons."

Ultimately, Raven's overpowered as well.

Back with Rankor, he now seems ready for his big triumphal entrance.

Rankor: And so it comes to fruition. The victory of the gods lies in the past, as my reign comes once more. ... Now these mortal vessels shall empower my wrath. With them, I shall cross over and mete out vengeance and death to all. It is time. ..."

Wow, what a way to end the issue! Gotta say, I think that's a rather cool take on the ten-headed demon idea.
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