Mummy, The: Palimpsest #4
Released by: Titan Comics
Released on: March 8th, 2017.
Written by: Peter Milligan
Illustrated by: Ronilson Freire
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“Angel Kostenko is suffering the effects of the Palimpsest, a 3,000 year-old process which is slowly causing her body to mummify and her mind to be consumed by the invading soul of Nebetah - an Ancient Egyptian High Priestess. Having escaped the clutches of the Sect of Anubis, Angel has found an ally in Duncan Clarke, the youngest member of the Pyramid Club - sworn enemies of the Sect. Together they have set out to locate Nebetah’s sarcophagus in the hope that by destroying her body they can halt the transformation. However, the Sect of Anubis, led by the Duke Clarence and Lord Mather, who have artificially extended their own lives through the Palimpsest, grow more desperate. Unless they can recapture Angel and finish the ceremony, they will forfeit their lives to the demon dog Ammit, the Devourer of Souls’, guardian of the Land of the Dead. In an attempt to force the Club to hand back Angel, Clarence has initiated a series of very public kidnappings of prominent people with ties to the Club, including the Ambassador of Egypt. Meanwhile, in desperation, Mather has revived the High Priest Kharis, whom he has kept a sleeping prisoner for the past 138 years, in the vain hope of forcing Kharis to help Mather track down Nebetah. However, Kharis kills Mather and sets out on his own to find Nebetah…”
That’s a lot to take in, right? When this fourth issue begins, Kharis is skulking about on the outskirts of modern day London, aware that just ahead is where the priestess Nebetah is hiding. As he is ancient, he knows that he needs to force Nebetah to share her life blood with him, otherwise he’ll perish.
Elsewhere, Angel and Duncan are in a protective pyramid of fire while an Ammit monster watches them, unable to get through. In order for the pyramidal process to work, however, Duncan has to get his breath into Angel. This leads to a kiss at the most inopportune of times, but it seems to work. As they’re concentrating on the ritual, Duke Clarence and his cronies are using the Anubis Compass to track down Duncan and Angel. As Angel and Duncan do away with Ammit, they escape the building only to get chased down by Clarence’s car, but once again they escape.
Clarence makes a phone call to a man named Mongoose and asks for his help. Mongoose is ordered for find Angel as soon as possible. From there, Clarence gets a call from Mather’s man Greaves, alerting him to the fact that Mathers has been killed. That leaves Clarence now in charge of the Sect Of Anubis. His first order of action? If Angel isn’t turned over in the next couple of days, they’ll attack the inner sanctum of the Pyramid Club. As Angel and Duncan unwind, she coerces him into telling her what she knows he has been hiding from her – that once they find and destroy the mummy, every part of Angel that has been lost will stay lost. She won’t get her memories back. That night Angel dreams of Nebetah, but she is awoken by the sounds of Duncan arguing with the other members of the Pyramid Club. They want to use Nebetah’s black blood of immortality to give themselves more time to deal with the problems that they and they alone are uniquely positioned to solve for the world. This will require that Angel by mummified alive… and then Kharis shows up.
Milligan’s story is coming together nicely. There’s a LOT going on here, it’s quite complex, but the threads are intertwining now and it looks like this should build to a pretty insane conclusion next month in the fifth and final issue of this mini-series. Lots of plot twists here, and at this point we’re no more sure than Angel herself who can be trusted and who can’t. Not even Duncan, seemingly quite noble and obviously quite taken with Angel, is being one hundred percent honest with her. The artwork from Ronilson Freire remains solid. It’s dark and moody and plenty atmospheric with a good eye for detail, particularly on any of the pages involving ancient Egyptian rites and attire.
The back pages of this issue once again contain an essay from Hammer Films historian Marcus Hearn, this time dealing with the story behind the Hammer picture Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb. Hearn’s writing is always interesting and a welcome addition to each issue. The use of some interesting promotional stills and behind the scenes images is a nice touch too.
A fun read overall – lots of monsters and magic and mayhem here with some interesting characters and plenty of action to go along with it.