Crimson Dawn #4

Issue Date: 
November 1997
Story Title: 
The Dawning Dusk

Ben Raab (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Thibert, Martinez, Parsons & Hack Shack (inks), RS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letters), Lichter/Lusen/Liquid! (colors & separations), Matt Idelson (assistant editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Archangel fights Psylocke, who has been fully turned into an Undercloak creature. Unfortunately, Warren loses. Kuragari sends out the rest of his Undercloak creatures to finish the feathered hero off. As they leave, Betsy gives Warren a look, so there still might be hope left. Warren tries to figure out a way to help his girlfriend, and fights the Undercloaks. Meanwhile on Earth, Gomurr gets a visit from Tar’s spirit, who, before going to the afterlife, gives Gomurr the rightful mantle as the next proctor of the Crimson Dawn. The two friends say goodbye and Gomurr leaves to the Crimson Realm. There, he helps out Warren and faces Kuragari. The Undercloaks recognize Gomurr as the new proctor and bow for him. Gomurr uses his magic to fight Kuragari, who eventually vanishes in the shadows but swears revenge. After the proper thanks, Gomurr sends both Psylocke and Archangel back home, where they share a sunset together and live happily ever after.

Full Summary: 

Archangel faces the much-changed Psylocke. She has turned to the dark side, and is now one with the shadows. She is a true creature of darkness. But, as Betsy herself says, above all else, she will be Warren’s death! She starts fighting Warren, who realizes that he arrived too late and that the Crimson Dawn has claimed Betsy completely. Warren has a hard time doing it, but manages to dodge all of Betsy’s attack moves. Betsy congratulates him for it, but is confident that his success won’t take long, and that she’ll make him an angel in spirit as well as name! Betsy eventually manages to surprise Warren and kicks him down.

Kuragari shows up, and congratulates his queen for it. Betsy thanks him and they kiss. Warren doesn’t know what Kuragari did to her, but knows that there is no way that Betsy would give her heart to him. Kuragari himself claims that he has done nothing to Betsy. She simply owned something to the Crimson Dawn for saving her life, and since he is now the protector of the Dawn, he simply claimed it. Warren refuses to believe that. Kuragari has enough of the meddling. He takes out his lance and punches it on Warren’s face.

Kuragari tells the defeated Archangel that, in many ways, he has him to thank for his ascension. He explains that, from the very moment Warren took of the Crimson Dawn’s mystical essence to save Psylocke, he created an imbalance in proctor Tar’s power base. It was at that moment that Kuragari realized just how fragile Tar’s hold on the throne of power was. Kuragari reveals that slaying Tar was far easier than he could ever imagine. From there, it was a simple matter of collecting on Warren’s debt to the Dawn. And gaining himself in the process, Kuragari gained himself a queen! Warren doesn’t believe the story, as Gomurr didn’t tell him anything about a debt.

Psylocke suspects that’s because Gomurr is much less skilled in the ways in magic than he would like to think he is. She says that, once they conquer Earth, maybe then Gomurr will finally understand his limitations. She walks back to Kuragari, who wants to prepare their conquest. He summons the Undercloaks and orders them to kill Archangel. But before Psylocke disappears into the shadows with Kuragari, she gives Warren a single, lingering glance, which could signify many things.

While the Undercloaks prepare to kill Warren, he realizes that he’s in deep trouble. He realizes that, even if he manages to defeat the Undercloak and rescue Betsy, he doesn’t know a place to where they could run. He thinks that Kuragari is serious about conquering the Earth, and he doesn’t know a way to stop him. Warren suddenly looks down, and finds some of Betsy’s energy shuriken! Did she leave them there on purpose? Warren picks them up. Does this mean that there’s still something left of his beloved? Warren wished that Gomurr told him how to handle things. Now that he thinks of Gomurr, Warren wonders where the little guy is and what he’s doing.

On Earth, the sky has turned red. Gomurr knows that Kuragari is fulfilling his plan, and fears that he won’t have enough power to stop him. All is lost. Or is it? A familiar sounding voice to Gomurr greets him and tells him not to be so sure about his defeat just yet. Gomurr can’t believe his ears. He turns around, and is surprised to see… Tar! He’s alive! Tar confirms that he still lives, may it be just in spirit. He explains that though his body is dust, his soul thrives eternally. Tar tells his old friend Gomurr that all shall be his once he assumes his destined mantle. Gomurr doesn’t understand. What “mantle” is Tar talking about, he asks.

Tar smiles, and asks Gomurr not to be so modest, as that doesn’t fit him. Tar explains that the time has come for Gomurr to claim the proctorship of the Crimson Dawn, as he was meant to. “Meant to?” a confused Gomurr asks. Him, the proctor? He admits that he’s a most masterful mage, but proctor? He thinks that Tar has gone crazy because he died. Tar denies that and promises Gomurr that he’s telling the truth. Tar continues to explain that as his grip upon his throne began to ebb in recent years, he began preparing for the day when Gomurr would take the reins of power from him. Tar says that all their battles and conflicts served as Gomurr’s gauntlet. Tar tells Gomurr that by honoring his spirit through their ancient burial rites, Gomurr gave of himself in this life so that Tar might benefit in the next. And in doing so, Gomurr lifted the burden of responsibility from Tar. And for that, he is in Gomurr’s debt. And that’s a debt Tar now gladly repays.

They shake hands. Gomurr is still a little confused, but Tar doesn’t find this to be the time for questions. He mentions that the Crux Point has arrived. The Angel and the Devil will cross worlds in a righteous combat one last time. Gomurr looks at his hands which now have marks on them similar to the one Betsy has on her eye. Tar explains to Gomurr that he now carries the mark of ruler. Now, Gomurr has to go claim what is his. Tar gives Gomurr his farewell, and wishes him the best of luck and vanishes. Gomurr grumbles a bit, realizing that the fate of the world now hangs on a millionaire playboy, a soul-twisted telepath and himself. But, if that’s the way it has to be, Gomurr is ready to give everything!

Meanwhile, Archangel is hard at battle with the Undercloaks. They give everything they have, but Warren still stands. The Undercloaks are impressed. Gomurr teleports in, and makes short work of the Undercloaks. He takes Warren to a place he recognizes: the Ebon Vein, the place where they saved Betsy’s life. Gomurr says that this is also the place where the imbalance must be corrected. Gomurr explains to Warren that, in order to save his beloved’s life, he took something from the Crimson Dawn. But now, Warren has to give something back for a balance to finally be struck. Gomurr says that Kuragari would claim Betsy’s soul as proxy payment, but in truth, that debt was ever Warren’s to pay. Gomurr shows an astral image of Warren to him.

Warren believes what Gomurr says since it makes sense. But he wants to know why Gomurr didn’t inform him sooner. Gomurr wants to explain, but has no time to because the Undercloaks have caught up on them. Warren sees this as the perfect time for Gomurr to explain everything to him, as all of this could have been prevented. Gomurr doesn’t see why that would matter. He knows that Warren loved Betsy when he came to rescue her, but he asks Warren if he still loves her today. “Of course!” Warren shouts. The image of Warren merges into the Vein. Gomurr tells Warren that, if he loves her, he should now give his heart freely to her. He reveals that it was the very stuff of life that Warren took from the dawn, and it is life that he must give back.

Elsewhere, Kuragari prepares his army of Undercloaks for his plans. Psylocke watches, but then suddenly feels strange. She realizes that she’s free again but doesn’t want Kuragari to know just yet. Suddenly, an Undercloak guard gets smashed through the window. Archangel proudly flies into the dark room, and tells Kuragari to prepare himself to give up his kingdom!

The entire army of Undercloaks attacks Warren, who isn’t much impressed by them. He just wants to have Betsy back. Psylocke helps her “master” and unleashes a blast upon Warren, who falls back. But he won’t give up. Betsy feels a bit weird about having to attack Warren. Kuragari thanks his queen for this, and wants to prepare her for doing some more fighting in the near future. He orders Psylocke to finish Warren off, and kill him. She takes out her sword and acts like she’s about to do what Kuragari asks, but then unnoticed by everyone quickly turns around and stabs Kuragari through his back!

Psylocke releases the dark shadows from her body, and proudly announces that she is now finally free of Kuragari’s manipulations. Kuragari gets up and punches Betsy in the face. Warren goes over to her, and asks if she’s all right. They hug, and Betsy apologizes for the awful things she went through and did to him. Warren tells her not to worry, and sarcastically smiles to Kuragari, confidently that soon there will be someone who is about to pay off his debt to them.

Kuragari himself isn’t so sure what Warren means, but doesn’t care and neither do the Undercloaks. They follow their master to their death. That’s fine by Psylocke, who’s ready for some payback. Warren covers her. Kuragari mocks, and allows the lovers to have “one final reunion” together. Suddenly, a voice behind Kuragari tells him that Warren and Betsy’s reunion isn’t the only one taking place. Kuragari turns around, and sees Gomurr, who holds his staff high into the air and glows!

Gomurr informs everyone that he is now the rightful proctor of the Crimson Dawn, so Kuragari and the Undercloaks should bow to him now. The Undercloaks do as told and bow for Gomurr. Kuragari can’t believe it, but won’t give up his throne so easily. He attacks Gomurr with shadows, but Gomurr won’t let the shadow master take him down so easily. Gomurr uses his magic skills and summons his Crimson Dawn helpers out to the rescue.

Psylocke asks Kuragari to face the fact that he is no one’s master. She kicks him and destroys part of his body. The Crimson Dawn creatures do the rest. But Kuragari still lives. He swears that he will take his revenge one day, and vanishes in the shadows.

Gomurr isn’t impressed and bids Kuragari farewell, and will be waiting. Psylocke kneels before the sensei, and says she’s forever in his debt. Gomurr tells Betsy to get up, and explains to her that it was Warren who saved his life by giving his heart to him. Psylocke understands, and she and Warren hug. Gomurr opens a portal and sends the two lovers home.

Later, Betsy and Warren look at the sunset together. Warren tells Betsy everything he did from the second he arrived in the Crimson Dawn realm. Betsy is impressed and can’t believe how much Warren gave up for her. Warren doesn’t care about that, as long as he can spend every day of the rest of both of their lives with Betsy. If Warren can do that, then he’s happy and everything will have been worth it.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Psylocke


Gomurr the Ancient

Tar (in spirit form)

The Undercloaks

Story Notes: 

So far, Kuragari hasn’t taken his revenge yet. And with now the Crimson Dawn apparently fully removed from Psylocke’s body, even the tattoo on her eye is gone, it’s not likely he’ll appear again any time soon.

Issue Information: 
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