One of my favorite of John’s mixed-media experiments. Would you believe I didn’t actually see the “face” of this monster until this reread, though?

From the script: “This energy whips and lashes outward violently. Imagine if the Venom/Carnage symbiote was made of spiritual energy rather than alien goo. It doesn’t take a specific shape, but it amorphously lashes out in all direction to slake its limitless thirst for blood, its indomitable hunger for lives. It is not simply Byron’s Red, it crackles and smoulders with darker, deeper carrion and near-black, burning far more brightly than it has a right to.”

What I find really unnerving about this scene is not that the normally stoic Gravedust is almost at a loss, but that he and Syr’Nj are emotionally isolated from each other here. Smart and open-minded as she is, there’s just no way she can appreciate the horror of what he’s seeing, not without soul-vision and a background in mysticism. And though he’s probably gotten a few clues about how deeply her feelings for Byron run, the recency of her first kiss with Byron and the icy resolve she’s maintaining to conduct this experiment mean that Gravedust doesn’t really know what she’s going through, either.