(From The Order of the Stick. Click for full-sized Black Lantern creation.)
After teasing us with the resolution of one death prophecy, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising to see Rich actually resolve the other one.
While it’s a bit earlier than when I thought it might happen, I have less of a problem with Durkon’s death coming here than with Belkar’s. As I mentioned in my last post, what really hammers this home is the fact that Durkon and Malack were so chummy earlier, only to see them turned against one another and for Malack to ultimately be responsible for Durkon’s demise – as well as the fact that this sequence represents Durkon’s biggest time in the spotlight in the entire comic. (On the other hand, it loses some impact because we don’t really know what caused Durkon to leave the rest of the group, considering he was still with them when last we saw them… and rereading that strip now could cause you to tear up all over again.)
I kind of wish I’d been able to post on the previous comic, the one with Durkon’s actual death, which I could have done if I’d started writing just a few hours before – not just because that’s the important moment in the sequence, but Durkon’s eventual resignation and ultimate acceptance effectively harkens back not only to Durkon’s initial reaction to the prophecy, but also the death of the previous most important character to remain dead at the moment (not counting Xykon), Miko. Malack isn’t really much of a threat to the gates, and things still aren’t looking up for Belkar, but it’s still, all things considered, a rather fitting way for Durkon to go out.
At least, temporarily. Because the comic I’m actually posting on completes the other half of what I thought might happen to Belkar, with Malack raising Durkon as a vampire, and suggesting a rather disturbing origin for Malack’s former “children”. While Malack clearly has some respect for Durkon that goes above and beyond what he had for almost anyone else, and we’ve already seen an image of a vampified OOTS member, even in black, that keeps some semblance of their former personality, the consensus on the forums seems to be that the Durkon we knew isn’t there anymore, and given his initial reaction to being raised it’s hard to disagree… not to mention the other prophecy surrounding Durkon from one of the prequel books.
It’s hard for me to take this as the fulfillment of that prophecy, though; this would seem to be a short-term threat for the OOTS to have to deal with, and it’s hard for me to see Durkon going very far in his current state. At the very least I would have to imagine we’d end up at the next gate as soon as the next book for this to tie in. Regardless, the OOTS is now finding itself in very dangerous territory… and given the circumstances, Xykon and company would seem to be overdue to show up.