Written by Peter Milligan | Art by Ronilson Freire | Published by Titan/Hammer Comics
Where does time go? Before I managed to read and review issue 2, issue 3 has popped up. I’ll hopefully double my enjoyment by reading and reviewing both together. Peter Milligan put an interesting little twist on his reinvention of The Mummy, putting together both traditional elements and some more up to date ideas. On the one hand, The Sect of Anubis is your run of the mill secret society. On the other, the use of people trafficking rings (to locate women, like our main character Angelina Kostenko, with the Mark of Kharis on them) is very topical. The first issue also introduced the enemies of the Sect, The Pyramid Club, who intervened before the process to transform Angel into the ancient priestess Nebetah had fully completed, and allowed her escape.
The Mummy #2 opens with Angel running for her life from the demon guardian Ammit, only narrowly avoiding being taken. Lost and alone in London, Angel is having vivid flashbacks with the memories of Nebetah surfacing ever stronger, making her remember her terrible betrayal and murder by the High Priest Kharis, also her lover. With no other options left, Angel makes her way to the British Museum, home to the secret Pyramid Club since 1883. Although the man she previously met, Duncan Clarke, has her best interests at heart, some members of the Club favour a ‘kill her now’ policy, to deal the Sect a heavy blow. Speaking of them, they are in a spot of bother too.
The Sect have been living on borrowed time for many years, always by securing a new girl to allow the priestess Nebetah to possess her and keep them all alive. If they cannot turn Angel within the next 4 days they will all be taken to the Egyptian Land of the Dead, where they will suffer that version of eternal damnation. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and they initiate a calling spell, to compel Angel to come to them. Duncan knows that the only way to save Angel, as her own personality and memories start to disappear, is to find the Mummy used in the ceremony and destroy it. Only problem is, Angel has disappeared, and is returning to the Sect against her will and controlled by the spell cast against her.
The Mummy #3 starts with a flashback to 1880, when Lord Mather and The Duke of Clarence found Kharis, now 3000 years old but eternally young, performing the rite of Palimpsest in Luxor. Back to the present and Duncan luckily finds Angel before she can reach the Sect’s headquarters. She is doing all she can to hang on, but her mind is becoming increasingly fractured it seems. The Sect try an alternate plan, the kidnapping of the Egyptian Ambassador, known to them as a Pyramid Club facilitator, to exchange for Angel. Duncan, meanwhile, has been fighting his corner with the Club to keep Angel alive long enough to try and help them destroy the Sect.
As always, things are never black and white. First, we learn Duncan has some mysterious secret that may come back to haunt him and Angel sooner rather than later, and secondly we learn the Pyramid Club elders have their own plan for Angel, which I’m guessing is not a nice one. Everything kicks into high gear as Duncan and Angel are again attacked by Ammit, and Lord Mather revives the ‘resting’ Kharis, a mummified prisoner in his attic, to help him. Bad move. Although next issue Lord Mather won’t be bothering anyone anymore, Angel/Nebetah will have to contend with a semi-mummified ex-boyfriend ,who killed her once before, popping by.
A great couple of issues, with both strong script and art throughout. I love the greyness in the morality throughout, no-one is entirely good with the possible exception of Angel. Angel as a character is very well defined and drawn, and you feel sympathy for her caught in a situation she cannot control, being used as a pawn by opposing sides. The art, by Ronilson Freire, has a nice retro feel to it, perfectly suited to the subject matter. Great alternate covers and text pieces as well.