Sunday, June 25, 2023

Crossover of the Week

Winter 2011


Occult bounty hunter Deacon Chalk must protect three weredog children from a trio of witches known as the Wrath of Baphomet. One of the witches, Athame, summons a “soulsword” by casting a spell backward. Deacon and his allies confront another of the witches, Ahriman, at a movie theatre: “Tiff and I had seen Guilty Pleasures here a month ago. We had both liked it. Hollywood had taken some liberties and picked their Jean-Claude based on star power instead of acting, but they were spot-on in their choice to play Anita. She probably didn’t agree, but I hadn’t had a chance to talk to her since it had been released.” An earlier incarnation of the coven included a Russian warlock called Chernobog, who was killed by a Puritan named Solomon Kane who later went to Africa. Deacon tells were-rabbit Josh about his current exploit, and Josh replies, “Just another Tuesday night in Sunnydale?” Deacon’s friend Kat shows him a prophecy about the witches in the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, written in Kandarian. Deacon’s ally Father Mulcahy gives him Durendal, the sword of Roland, and claims the Holy See has Excalibur. 

Novel by James R. Tuck, Kensington Books, 2012. The soulsword may be a reference to the sword of the same name wielded by Illyana Rasputina, aka Magik, a member of the Marvel Comics mutant superteams the X-Men and the New Mutants. If so, this is the CU version of the sword. Casting spells backward is the preferred method of magic for DC Comics’ mystic heroine Zatanna Zatara, and her father Giovanni “John” Zatara before her. Anita is Laurell K. Hamilton’s vampire hunter Anita Blake, while Jean-Claude, a vampire himself, is one of her love interests. Guilty Pleasures was the title of the first Blake novel. Although the Anita Blake novels take place in a world where the public is aware that the supernatural is real, various sources, such as the first Deacon Chalk novel, Blood and Bullets, establish that a version of Anita exists in the CU distinct from Hamilton’s version. Solomon Kane is Robert E. Howard’s Puritan adventurer. While the mention of Sunnydale (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) could be interpreted as a pop culture reference, Blood and Bullets establishes that Buffy is a contemporary of Deacon Chalk, so it is more likely a genuine crossover. The Necronomicon Ex Mortis and the Kandarian language are from the Evil Dead films. Durendal and Roland are from French epic literature. Excalibur has appeared in several CU texts. Its status and location vary from story to story; for instance, in The Librarian TV movies and the subsequent series The Librarians, the Library has the sword, which Flynn Carsen calls Cal. Perhaps someday a dedicated creative mythographer will reconcile the myriad, seemingly conflicting takes on Arthurian lore in the CU. 

This crossover write-up is only one of hundreds which will be included in my book Crossovers Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, which will be published by Meteor House! All three volumes are official and AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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