Dynamite has sent us a writer’s commentary by Ian Edginton for Killer Instinct #6, the finale of the series, with a cover by Yildiray Cinar and interiors by Ediano Silva.
Gargos has returned! The cat’s out of the bag and we have the big reveal with this opening, full page splash of the big guy. The games people at Microsoft wanted to beef up his look a little so it was decided to give him an extra set of arms complete with bone blades and taloned feet. The thinking was that since his previous form had been defeated, as he healed and regenerated, he’d build himself a better body. Gargos 2.0!
Quite naturally Jago, Tusk and Kim Wu can’t quite believe what they’re seeing, Tusk especially as he delivered the killing blow to Gargos on the last day of the great war. However, Gargos reveals that he had plans within plans and had prepared for the possibility of his (albeit temporary) defeat. You don’t get to be a world dominating S.O.B. without thinking ahead!
Gargos doesn’t take this insult lightly and attacks Jago, Tusk and Kim Wu. They no longer have their weapons or their powers, so Gargos thinks this will be an easy kill.
The others don’t play it safe, though, and step up to confront him. This echoes back to Jago’s pep talk to Kim Wu in issue #4 that despite not having their powers they still possess the courage and heart to do the right thing and face down Gargos. It’s this then that makes them worthy to be hosts to their Guardian Spirits.
As Jago and Tusk contend with Gargos, Kim Wu glances down to see rocks and bits of stone all moving under their own steam and gathering together. She has an inkling of what’s happening, that it’s the golem Aganos rebuilding himself. He’s using whatever he can find to remake his body just like he did before. She realizes that they have to buy Aganos time to literally pull himself together.
Tusk, Kim Wu and Jago keep harrying Gargos. They attack, fall back then strike again. They know that they’re not a match for him in a full-on brawl so they’re trying to keep him off-balance instead, hitting him from all directions and not giving him a chance to focus his attacks. It works for a while but eventually Gargos gets the drop on them, or so he thinks.
Aganos has reassembled himself and floors Gargos. His new body isn’t pretty but it does the job.
While Aganos keeps Gargos occupied, Tusk, Kim Wu and Jago venture inside the Heap, the giant artificial womb that Gargos used to heal and regrow his body. There are great sacs and growths on the walls, floor and ceiling, all striated with veins and connective tissue. It’s as gross as it sounds.
They follow the visceral, tentacle-like umbilicus that was connected to Gargos, deep into the Heap where they discover it’s connected to a huge, multifaceted, crystalline growth. Inside the structure are their Guardian Spirits that Gargos was feeding off to regenerate himself.
We cut back to Gargos and Aganos as they slug it out. It’s Aganos’ turn to buy the others time now so they can release their Guardian Spirits. I wanted this to be a real knock-down, drag-out slugfest. A Hulk vs. Thing kind of deal full of teeth-rattling, tectonic punches!
Back inside the Heap, the trio realize the only way to free their Guardian Spirits is to smash open the crystal cage with their bare hands and it’s going to hurt. Again it’s to underscore Jago’s comments from a few issues back that to be host to a Guardian Spirit occasionally requires pain and personal sacrifice.
We inter-cut between Gargos and Aganos duking it out and the others punching their way into the crystal cell. The pace builds up tempo across the double page spread until we reach a crescendo where Gargos destroys Aganos (or so we think!) and our trio smashes their way into the crystal cell.
Gargos’ victory over Aganos is short-lived as the Heap is destroyed and Jago, Tusk and Kim Wu are reunited with their Guardian Spirits, including their weapons.
The trio takes the fight to Gargos on what they think is now a level playing field, but the demon still has his home turf advantage and plays it to the full. But even he can’t see what’s coming down the pipe.
And the twists keep on coming! Aganos’ new body may have been destroyed, but his essence, his soul perseveres.
We discover that Aganos was previously one of the ethereal Light Lords who had been captured and cast out from the Astral Plane by Gargos millennia before. His soul was imprisoned inside the gem that was set into Aganos’ forehead which is what made him different from all of the other war golems back in ancient Mycenae. When Kan-Ra (in the previous issue) used the gem to open the portal to the Astral realm, it also conveyed Aganos’ soul there too. This is his place of power as much as it is Gargos’.
We cut to Gargos and Aganos wrestling in the air. Gargos has more than met his match! Aganos says that he will not let Gargos triumph. Gargos retorts that will never give up his claim on the Earth. Aganos says that if that’s the case then he will remove Gargos as far from the Earth as possible. He opens a dimensional portal and drags Gargos through it with him, taking them to who-knows-where.
Tusk, Jago and Kim Wu are left to puzzle over the outcome. Is Gargos dead? Will Kan-ra bring them back to Earth? After all, it would suit the sorcerer’s plans if he abandoned them there. True to his word, though, Kan-Ra returns them to the Lost Forge.
Kan-Ra says that there’s a palpable change on the Earth, as if a great storm has broken and the air is clearing. The others tell him what happened to Gargos to which Kan-Ra replies that there’s the distinct possibility that demon could still be alive and will try to find his way back to wreak his revenge. They all then agree, even Kan-Ra, that they must use the time they have to prepare for Gargos’