A Year Of Marvels: October #1: Review

Oct 2016
Jeremy Whitley, Laura Braga

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

A Year Of Marvels: October #1 Review by (February 10, 2024)
This is the October edition of a 2016 online Infinite Comics series of 1-shots, this 1 starring Hawkeye (Kate Bishop). It was later printed in A Year Of Marvels: Uncanny comic alongside the November edition starring Punisher. And the whole lot was reprinted in A Year Of Marvels TPB.

Kate's here after her apps in Civil War II, concluding with Ultimates (2015) #12 with her pal America Chavez.

After this she'll star in her own 2016 Hawkeye series, sometimes guest-starring the Clint Barton Hawkeye.

This is the only app for Jasmine and Kayla. But Alexis Miranda will go on to feature in both of the Unstoppable Wasp series.

Griffon is a 1-off baddie. Marvel Fandom Wiki says he's dead but turning to mist is usually a vampire escape strategy.

A single huge eye embedded in a mass of octopus arms makes the monster here a version of Shuma-Gorath, based on his original depiction by Frank Brunner in Marvel Premiere (Dr Strange) #10. The name was invented by Robert E Howard in the Kull story The Curse Of The Golden Skull. Roy Thomas used the name in his Marvel adaptation of a Howard story Dig Me No Grave. Then Gardner Fox mentioned him in MP(DrS)#5 which included beings inspired by Howard, and which led up to SG's voice-only app in #9 and his full app in #10. He is generally considered to fit into H P Lovecraft's cosmos.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A Year Of Marvels: October #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
3 young women have found themselves in a creepy castle with little idea how they got there and no phone signal. Kayla Kurasawa is taking her frustration out on Jasmine (we never learn her surname), while Alexis Miranda (not-so-fresh from a game of lacrosse) tells her not to be so mean. Then they're joined by a 4th who announces her self as Kate Bishop better known as Hawkeye. The general response is "Isn't Hawkeye a man?". Nobody remembers the younger female in the Young Avengers. She gets them to tell her who *they* are. The oldest Jasmine is a science teacher at Empire State University. Alexis is living with her abuela until she graduates from ESU. Kayla just wants to know how the 'superhero' is going to get them out of here.

For answer Kate borrows a hairpin from Jasmine and starts to pick the lock on a door. Meanwhile she describes how she was heading home from a concert near ESU when her car broke down due to a ninja throwing star in her gas tank. The last thing she remembers is phoning for a ride ... and then she woke up here. Kayla is totally sceptical about her ability to pick the lock on an old castle door with a hairpin. But it works.

They move out into a corridor lit by wall sconces. Kate takes 1 and leads them past gargoyle heads with glowing eyes. Alexis and Jasmine relate that their last memories too are of getting into a car. Alexis is sure they're going to die because they're a typical psycho movie group. Jasmine's the nerd, Kayla's the popular mean girl, she's the sporty 1 and Kate will be the survivor. Black Jasmine says that's obvious because she's the only white girl.

At this point a mummy leaps out at Kate from a side passage and knocks her down. Alexis thinks they should help her but Kayla points out that she's the superhero here. Jasmine says she doesn't believe in magic stuff like walking mummies, but she advises Kate to go for the spinal cord. So Kate jams her fist into its mouth, grabs hold and punches through to the other side. She thinks that's that so she gets up and dusts herself off. She explains that she *is* a superhero but she doesn't have superpowers so she'll need their help. Kayla picks up the dropped torch and flings it at her ... and past her to hit the mummy that's risen again. It bursts into flames but keeps advancing, and now it's a mummy on fire.

So they run away from it. But on the way Jasmine's foot steps on a metal plate which causes a section of the floor to give way and deposit them into a room below. Which luckily is a store of martial arts weapons. A light shows them what's available. But unfortunately that light is the flaming mummy falling in after them. Kate grabs a dagger and throws it to bury itself in the foe's forehead. Alexis chops at it with a big axe. Jasmine fancies the spiky ball on a handle and chain (a flail, or mace and chain). Kate is about to suggests the katana for Kayla but the Japanese girl doesn't want to be stereotyped and takes the bow and arrows. Kate protests that they are *her* speciality but Kayla says she's had archery lessons. Surely a superhero isn't limited to 1 weapon. So Kate reluctantly takes the sword (not wanting to emulate Clint Barton even further by copying his Ronin phase) (and seemingly forgetting that she started out in the Young Avengers with sword as well as bow).

So they head off down another corridor until they reach a room with a pool and an altar. Jasmine asks Kate if *she* really believes in magic. Kate replies that her friend (Wiccan) summoned a trans-dimensional parasite which possessed their parents, and then a teenage Asgardian (Loki) tried to banish it with a makeshift pentagram. (That's all in Young Avengers vol 2.) Meanwhile Alexis reads an inscription which says "When the blood of an unsullied woman is drawn upon this altar, the unlightened 1 shall rise and pull her below". They immediately recognise it as the old virgin sacrifice thing. And then Alexis accidentally cuts herself on her axe and drops of her blood fall on the altar. Kate says that's OK as long as she's not a virgin. But Alexis admits that's she's done some stuff but not yet that ...

... and there's a loud rumble and octopoid suckered limbs (not tentacles) reach out of the pool to grab Alexis and Kayla's legs. Alexis is lifted high and drops the axe, almost hitting Kate. Jasmine attacks a limb with her mace, while Kate slices through the 1 holding Alexis letting her go. But then more angry suckered limbs emerge. Kate's limb is trapped under the 1 Jasmine's pinning down but is still thrashing around with her in its coils. She lost most of the arrows out of her quiver but still grips hold of the bow. Then the thrashing brings her near to a fallen arrow and she scoops it up as a single large eye appears amidst the limbs. Kayla tells Jasmine to let her limb go which frees her own limb to lift her high again, and she uses the vantage to fire her arrow into the eye. And the monster drops her. Kate starts severing limbs with her sword and makes it through to slice the eye open. And the monster collapses dead.

Kayla now swaps the bow and arrows with Kate for the sword. The 4 walk up a winding stone stairway and emerge in a control room where sits a man who turns slowly to face them and introduces himself as Count Griffon of House Walters. He welcomes them and congratulates them on all surviving, but he's taken aback when they start laughing because he's such a cliche. He recovers and explains that he is a vampire lord who has put them under his thrall to invite them to become his immortal brides. Kayla excuses herself because she's gay which makes him so not her type. Jasmine flashes her wedding ring and says being married and a Professor of Biology doesn't leave her much time to be part of a harem. And it doesn't fit well with Alexis' feminist principles.

Griffon can't understand how they can all resist the allure of a vampire lord, the secret desire of all 20-something girls. However he doesn't want such 'disrespectful wenches' so he tells them they can leave. They turn to go but then he says next time he'll try teenagers. Kate turns back and start firing a volley of arrows at him. He fends off a few but soon they start peppering his body. Until he disappears into mist.

The girls are glad to have got away unscathed until they discover they're in New Jersey.

Laura Braga
Laura Braga
Rachelle Rosenberg
Jamal Campbell (Cover Penciler)
Jamal Campbell (Cover Inker)
Jamal Campbell (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Geoffo. Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Christina Harrington. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Kate Bishop)

Plus: Alexis Miranda.

> A Year Of Marvels: October: Book info and issue index

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