GVN Talking Comics Review: Mad Cave Studios ‘Show’s End: The Second Coming Issue 5′ – “An Intermission, Not an Ending’

Last Time

When we last left Mad Cave Studios Show’s End: Second Coming, Aunt Andry had grown a pair of wings and had taken Vaddy and Gunnar to see the explosion that had come from where Loralye was. This was the result of Grandpa Leviticus showing Loralye what had happened to her friend Flipsy’s remains. Made into a bait shop’s window display. (Flipsy had died in Vol. 1 of Show’s End)

The anger and grief had triggered Loralye’s transformation into the demon. A demon looking for revenge. Just as her grandfather had hoped. Copper, Sparky, Pavel and their army friends had prepared to go after them. Not knowing what they might find. Also not knowing that someone else was following the trail.

The Great Heckler

At the scene of the explosion, Leviticus had tied up three people who he claimed were responsible for the store window’s display featuring Flipsy. He explained to Loralye that a confrontation was coming. A battle between her father, the demon Aeserott and the being known as “The Great Heckler.” To have a chance of defeating his foe, Aeserott needed as many souls as he could consume. That’s where Loralye comes in. With every person she kills, their souls are fed to Aeserott to strengthen him for the battle. The three people in front of her are a start. Three people who deserve their fate for what they did with Flipsy. All she needs to do is use her power to send them to on their way .

Plans of Attack

Back in Sanctuary Glade, Copper and his crew were discussing a plan of attack, depending on what they found at the blast sight. However, their plans were put in motion before they were ready when Pavel jumped into a truck and left them behind. Heading toward the smoke from the blast. No choice now but to follow. Although what THEY could do when Loralye was in her demonic form was unknown.

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Do it for Flipsy

Back at the scene, Leviticus was saying anything he could to get Loralye to kill those responsible for Flipsy. Finish her task and send their souls to her father. As Loralye hesitated, Pavel came roaring into the scene, plowing his truck into a nearby light pole. He scrambled from the truck, pleading with Loralye to stop. Even with all the destruction she had caused, she could still stop. Pavel reminded her what they had been told before: “Just because we CAME from monsters, doesn’t mean we have to be them too.” However, the memory of Flipsy and with the urging of Aunt Andry it became too much, and she lashed out. Catching Pavel and Vaddy in the resulting blast.

A Sacrifice Too Great

The sight of Vaddy laying in pain and bloodied made Loralye pause, as she transformed back into her human form. Leviticus told her that this was part of the lesson she needed to learn. That to give Aeserott the power he needed; a large number of people would be sacrificed. Even the people she loved. It was the price to be paid. Now, all she needed to do was to finish it. However, Loralye was unwilling to pay that price. Transforming again, she turned on her aunt and grandfather, grabbing him by the throat.

An Unexpected Guest

He was unafraid of this circumstance. In fact, he begged her to do it. By her killing him, he could join with his “lord.” As Loralye contemplated this, a shot rang out, hitting Leviticus in the shoulder. The source of the shot was a mysterious woman who asked Leviticus if his soul would join with Aeserott if SHE “ended” him instead of Loralye? This mystery woman was Loralye’s mother. And she wanted some words with dear old dad.

A Father/Daughter Reunion

Upon seeing her mother, Loralye once again transformed. Questioning if her eyes were deceiving her. For her part, “mommy” asked Loralye to cover her eyes. She didn’t want her daughter to see what must come next. She obeyed her mother and what came next was a shot in the middle of Leviticus’ face, shattering the bone. Much to the dismay of her sister Andriel. She could not believe that her sister had done that. But before she could do anything else, Copper and the rest arrived, taking advantage of their distractions to fire at Andriel and her henchman.

A Noble Sacrifice

While the mayhem continued, Andriel concentrated on Loralye, using the powers given to her by Aeserott to attack. But she was not alone, because Gunnar appeared. Even more disfigured than before with chainsaws for hands. He also attacked Loralye, cutting into her arms with his weapons. But Copper couldn’t allow that to happen. He jumped into the truck and headed toward Gunnar. Right before he was almost upon him, he lit a jar of moonshine and tossed into the back of his truck. The back where many other jars were kept. The whole thing exploded in a fiery ball, taking Copper with it.

“I’m Stronger Than You”

However, the sacrifice was for naught as Gunnar was unharmed. But Pavel went forward to talk to him. Once again asking his father to stop. To let them go. At first, he refused, telling Pavel “His Lord” required his obedience. But Pavel assured him that it was Andriel that wanted his obedience and he didn’t HAVE to listen to her. Pavel didn’t and that made him stronger than his father. Regardless, if Gunnar stopped what he was doing, Pavel would stay with him. That IS what he wanted, wasn’t it? He would even go through the ritual if his father wanted. But let his friends go.

“Back the Hell OFF!”

Gunnar considered this and when Andriel asked him what had transpired with Loralye and the others, he told her they had escaped through the fire. While Vaddy were hesitant to leave her friends, they had no choice. Loralye’s mother scooped her up and they headed to the train. Just as Aeserott approached. But Loralye’s mother knew about the demon lord’s secrets… and the Great Heckler’s. She could put an end to his plans by putting a bullet through her own head. But this time, her father wasn’t around to resurrect her as he had done before. So, it would be best if he “backed the hell off.”

The Inevitable Confrontation

On the train, Loralye’s mother drew mystic runes around the train’s cabin. It was these runes that had protected Loralye since her birth. With them, Aeserott could not detect her. But they needed to get away from Andriel and their cult. Vaddy knew of a place they could go. But it would require a trip at sea. Back to her homeland. While it wouldn’t KEEP them safe, it would allow Loralye more time to understand and control her powers. To prepare for the coming inevitable confrontation. This would be an intermission…not an ending (hopefully).

Thoughts

With the excellence that was the first Show’s End by Cleveland and Sadzinski, the creators had a huge undertaking to match it. With Show’s End: The Second Coming, they not only met the challenge, but they also kicked all kinds of ass in doing so. All the while advancing the narrative and revealing some of the tragic background storylines behind some of their established characters. Such as Copper’s fateful trip down memory lane.

Killing It

They accomplished this, while at the same time leaving enough meat on the bone for the next chapter. Provided Gunnar doesn’t gnaw it off. All brought to life in monstrous detail by Sadzinski’s brilliant but horrific attention to detail. The Second Coming gave him all kinds of avenues to display his artistic “chops” and he “killed” it.

Show’s End?

So, what is left? The freakshow has lost some of their family members. Copper is gone. Pavel is spending “quality” time with his dad. Sparky is with the military veterans. Vaddy, Loralye and her mother are off to Vaddy’s homeland to hide and prepare for Aeserott’s eventual return. Not to mention the Great Heckler. All this is crying for a third and perhaps final chapter. Will THIS be the Show’s End? Only Time, Mad Cave, Anthony Cleveland and Jef Sadzinski will tell.

Mad Cave Studios ‘Show’s End: The Second Coming,’ Issue #5 by Anthony Cleveland and Jef Sadzinski is available now on Mad Cave’s Subscription site.