Welcome back for ClanDestine Week, where we’ll look at the second half of the Alan Davis run on the first series of The ClanDestine.
Issue 5 – ‘Genie-ology’
The origin issue. Adam tells Rory and Pandora the story of how he became immortal and sired children with unnatural abilities in the family graveyard (we see tombstones for Sherlock [Holmes, perhaps?], Garth [the newspaper strip, perhaps?], and Lance [… nope, you’ve got me there], suggesting the sense of history that Davis has planned for the story).
Adam was bon in 1168, in England; a farm hand who is impaled on a scythe, but who comes back from near death. So, Adam of Ravenscroft becomes Adam of Destine. In 1189, he went to fight in the Crusades, where he is captured (‘Odds bodkin … It’s a trap!’) by the men of Al Kadhdhaab asking him to fulfil his destiny of freeing them from Sujama Min Raghbah, who fears Adam from dreams in which Adam kills him. Adam finds him in his citadel, where he has a trapped djinn giving him power. Raghbah can’t kill Adam because the djinn wouldn’t like it. Adam confuses him with logic and kills him, only for the original guy to wound him to claim the djinn for himself. Adam instead frees the djinn with the last of his strength – she revives him and their love is ignited, and power is transferred to Adam and to his children. The story ends with said children all arguing, as families do, and the twins being told that they will be facing the one foe they can’t fight: school.
Issue 6 – Rory Destine’s School Daze
(Great cover.) Rory daydreams while at school (about a Skrull invasion – how ahead of his time is Davis? I kid), getting him and Pandora into trouble with teachers and other kids. Adam and Walt talk about the kids – I like the way Davis has Adam talking in a wise but not pompous fashion, indicative of his age. Meanwhile, Kay is reclaiming her business empire, using her telepathy to do so – Sam is naturally appalled, and it’s an interesting dynamic within the family: they’re not all good guys.
Dom in his anechoic (‘free from echo; tending to absorb or deaden sound’ for those of you who don’t know – I know I didn’t) chamber, suffering from being in the world of people again, telling the twins to leave him alone.
After being threatened with separation by Walter for getting into trouble at school, Rory decides to go to New York with Pandora. When they arrive, after a tough journey, they crash-land in Manhattan, where they are saved by Spider-Man.
Issue 7 – ‘Real Heroes’
Sam and Kay are attacked – shot by tranquilliser darts – but Kay is not so easily taken down (being ‘an eight hundred year old nomadic conciousness’) and we see echoes of her former selves (above left; including an Arabic princess, Japanese woman, an English queen type, a native American squaw, a musketeer type, a pirate …) – the sense of history that Davis instils in the panel and the potential for story is wonderful.
Meanwhile, Rory and Pandora are hanging with Spider-Man – he rightly wants them to go home but they don’t, so he challenges them to a contest: if he loses, he’ll take them as sidekicks.
Back in England, Adam and Dominic chat, including some fascinating stuff about Adam (see above right; no basic responses of survival instinct, he doesn’t flinch in anticipation of danger, he doesn’t twitch or fidget because he doesn’t tire – Davis has put a lot of thought into this).
Spider-Man easily dispatches Rory and Pandora and gives them lessons in superheroism. Sam and Kay are captured by a killer hired by the Financial Director of Kay’s business empire. Kay sends a telepathic message to Rory to help them, so go with Spidey and Pandora. The killer murders the Financial Director, thinking he’s been set up, and the killer is killed in turn by the Punisher (guest stars are soooo important in a new series), under the influence of Kay.
Issue #8 ‘Points of View’
Walt, Dom and Adam go on patrol, even though Walter is not happy about it, in order to understand the twins’ fascination with crime fighting. While doing it, each relates an episode from their past.
Dom tells of being in Greenwich Village years ago, when he was helped by Dr Strange. Walt is in 1944 (he was with military intelligence) when he sees the Invaders (while casually mentioning digging Maurice out of a landslide in 1839 and wrestling a Kodiak bear in 1904 – as I’ve said, I love the sense of history inherent to this book) and how he ‘hulked’ out and loved it, but was attacked by his own side even though he destroyed the enemy. Adam tells of an incident in 1615 (mentioning that Grace and Albert were in Japan, protecting the Shogun Tokugawa during a coup) where he met aliens; they attacked him, to no avail, inadvertently killing two and injuring the other, who says they sought to claim this world for their empire but now won’t.
The comedy footnote to this charming issue: they see no crime during their patrol but there had been a crime wave because the police had been chasing reports of ‘flying men’. This issue was the last that Davis did of this series – no promotion and a feeling of not being supported made him stand up for his creative integrity. Good for him, but bad for us. Fortunately, he was persuaded back for an attempt to drum up business – as we’ll see in tomorrow’s instalment, when The ClanDestine meet the X-Men.