"The Miser's Coat": In the former residence of Cyrus Gold, in Slaughter Swamp, a "tailor" is at work, but talking to an unseen other character. The tailor decides to tell this mystery person a story... the story of the seven soldiers who saved the world from the Fairy
- That's how it is in the world of the Super-Cowboys - Revenge. Redemption. Love. Betrayal. Blood. Death. In the fury of bright crayola colors, broken bones, and sound effects that can burst your ear-drums if you let them, the themes may seem unfamiliar but trust me, these are human stories, writ large, dressed in capes and riding magic carpets to alternate universes, and if life with the Super-Cowboys taught me anything it taught me this... Every day is mythology when you use your X-Ray vision to really, really LOOK.
- — Shelly "The Whip" Gaynor, in her last column (published posthumously)
Synopsis for "The Miser's Coat"
In the former residence of Cyrus Gold, in Slaughter Swamp, a "tailor" is at work, but talking to an unseen other character. The tailor decides to tell this mystery person a story... the story of the seven soldiers who saved the world from the Fairy Queen without ever meeting. It concerns a secret order of seven angels who keep the fabric of reality in good repair, by weaving the threads of fate on the loom of time and space - and one other angel, who rebelled against the others. The story goes "from the beginning, all the way to the very end."
On the timeship Castle Revolving in the year "One Billion and Counting", Gloriana Tenebrae is recovering from the attack by the monster Frankenstein. As she prepares to bathe in the mystic water of the Cauldron of Rebirth, she attacked by Ystina, the Shining Knight.
The tailor then backtracks to the beginning: in 40,000BC, the Sky Tribes of the Fourth World came to the cave-dwellers, gifting them with "fire, inspiration, and magic". Led by a prince the cave-men named Silverarm, they constructed four cities - Falias, Murias, Gorias and Findias - in which to rest. And when their work was done, they created a hero - a primordial mixture of god and mortal, born of unearthly science. Created to bring order, this being, named Aurakles, is Earth's first super-hero, sent to fight the 666 Monster of Chaos. To aid him, the gods give him the Seven Imperishable Treasures: the Unbreakable Sword, the Cauldron of Rebirth, the all-knowing Fatherbox, the Unstoppable Hammer, the Merlin Sprite born of living language, the steed Pegazeus... and the secret curse of the Spear whose name is both "Love" and "Vengeance". Years pass, as Aurakles raises the cave-dwellers. Their scientists build a time-engine, which they send into the future. And there it is found by Melmoth of the Sheeda. With it, the Sheeda trace a path back to the Neanderthals and "harrow" them - stripping them of all worth before they collapse unremarked.
Thirty thousand years later, in the Kingly Age before the Flood, the city Gorias is found by a Prince, Arthur of Mighty Renown, who comes to conquer in the name of his father, King Uther Dragon-Head. He was led to the city by the wiseman Merlin, and there he finds a herd of winged horses, the children of Pegazeus, guarding the Unbreakable Sword and the riddle of the spear. Years later, when Arthur is King of the World, and has recovered the rest of th Imperishable Treasures, he launches an attack across time itself, against UnWhen, known as Sheeda-Side, the home of the Sheeda. This attacks is recorded in the bardic lays of future ages: "And three times the fullness of great Arthur's ship we went into it. Save seven, none returned."
At this point, the tailor is distracted from his tale by the radio starting up. He is surprised by this, as "They didn't have FM radio in 1846". The tailor returns to his work - a coat, intended for Cyrus Gold the miser... despite the fact that he drowned Cyrus Gold in Slaughter Swamp before starting the coat. The tailor stops, and cryptically remarks to his unseen audience, "without the fancy beard and moustache, you're a dead ringer for the creepy old bastard. Why, we could all of us be brothers."
In modern-day New York, the Sheeda have invaded under the cover of Hurricane Gloria. The invaders are striking uncaringly - taking all the things that matter, all the proofs of life. However, a defense is being mounted - the Manhattan Guardian is on hand to rally the residents of the city. This is augmented when Zatanna and her apprentice Misty Kilgore arrive with the children of Pegazeus, who proceed to attack the invaders.
Across town, Alix Harrower is driving her one-time nemesis, Sally Sonic, to the hospital. However, on the drive over, the villainess comes to and tries to attack her...
Misty Kilgore, realizing that she has the best chance of fighting her mother alone, zaps Zatanna with her magic die and runs down a side-street. Zatanna comes to to find she gained a new friend - the ghost wizard Ali-Ka-Zoom, who just handed her the Merlin Sprite.
Outside a burning building, Klarion the Witch-Boy is on the next step of his grand adventure, shouting for "a soldier's life!" However, he meets Misty Kilgore, who is surprised - Klarion has a magic die also, and hers is reacting to it. Intent on getting both, Klarion distracts her while his familiar, Teekl, robs the die from her. Distraught, Misty runs to Zatanna while Ystina fights Gloriana and Alix Harrower tries to keep control of her vehicle.
In the SHADE bunker under the United Nations Building, Father Time is trying to muster a response. His two remaining agents, Frankenstein and the Bride, are getting harder to contact. The Bride is teaming up with the civilian resistance at the Hero Museum, on Lennon and Broadway. Frankenstein, meanwhile, is trying to maintain control of the timeship in the face of stiff opposition, but he loses his sits to the magic of Klarion the Witch-Boy, who instructs him to turn the ship back to Sheeda-Side.
Back on the ground, Misty Kilgore is having a nervous breakdown, but Zatanna is there to set her straight: "You know the best bit about magic? It's all about doing the impossible. So let's save the world, you and me, together." Using the Merlin Sprite, they start laying the foundations for seven soldiers to strike... A strike that has already begun.
Zatanna is almost run over by Carla, the Manhattan Guardian's fiancée, but she swerves, sending her for the Manhattan Guardian, who posits a headline: "Hero Gets Girl".
On board the timeship, Gloriana is engaged in a swordfight with Ystina - which ends when Ystina is thrown overboard.
Meanwhile, Mister Miracle has come to the Dark Side Club, in search of Boss Dark Side, a mysterious and powerful man. Boss Dark Side remarks the Dark Side Club is closed while they make space for their latest acquisition - Aurakles, the beloved of the New Gods. Dark Side is home to a granite faced entity that knows more than it is telling, but Mister Miracle has an offer: his life in exchange for Aurakles' freedom. Dark Side agrees, and plans to place Mister Miracle in a death-trap. His underlings shackle Mister Miracle in preparation... but Boss Dark Side takes out a pistol and shoots Mister Miracle from six feet away. Escape, it seems, is not an option.
As Ystina is falling for her death, she is rescued by one of the flying horses. Gloriana is already plotting ways to return and make a victory of this attack, but she is suddenly and brutally betrayed by her minion: the archer known as I, Spyder. Knocked off her balcony, she is promptly run over... by the runaway car containing Alix Harrower. A brief flash to the next day shows that the crash had only one survivor: Alix herself.
As various heroes rush to save people from the accident, the mysterious tailor has finished the coat in 1846. With it, he traps his audience to fulfil the fate of Cyrus Gold in the upcoming lynching. As the tailor is departing he finally addresses his audience by name: "Haven't you heard, Zachary Zor? They all live happily ever after."
In the aftermath of the great battle, Ystina has acquired a "secret identity" of sorts with a boarding school. She feels guilty about abandoning her friends and family to the undead regime that arose in the aftermath of Camelot. However, Ali-Ka-Zoom is there to cheer her up - legend says that Queen Ystina the Good finally ended the Age of Death and reigned in a Golden Age just before the Flood; Ystina, the nervous schoolgirl, has an amazing future ahead of her...
As the tailor drives a raft away from the home of Cyrus Gold, he notes that Thomas the Rhymer once saw two roads before him: one leading to good, one to evil. But Slaughter Swamp is a strange place, and a path beginning there could lead anywhere...
Klarion the Witch-Boy survives in the future, ready to begin his Silver Age adventures against the demon Etrigan.
In New York, a lawyer notes that the legendary East Coast/West Coast mob war has ended with all the benefits falling at the feet of Millions the Mystery Mutt, who was mentioned in the victor's will.
Jake Jordan lays a wreath at the grave of Mister Miracle. Just after he leaves, Boss Dark Side arrives leaving a single black rose and hinting at some greater conflict to come. Boss Dark Side has gained a victory - but, as Mister Miracle cheats death by crawling out of his own grave, it seems his story is not yet over.
Appearing in "The Miser's Coat"
- The Seven Soldiers of Victory
- I, Spyder
- Jorge Control
- Hannah Control
- Carla Marcus
- The Huntsman (Mentioned only)
- Spyder (Mentioned only)
- New Gods (Flashback only)
- King Arthur (Flashback only)
- Merlin (Flashback only)
- Millions, the Dog-Father
- Winged horses
- This issue continues the story of the Seven Soldiers from where Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #4 left off, and is the final chapter in the series, closing off the seven spin-off titles.
- The penciler imitates Jack Kirby's style on pages 3-7.
- Cover gallery for the Seven Soldiers of Victory series
- Images from Seven Soldiers of Victory Vol 1 1
Links and References
- Annotations for the comic can be found at Barbelith