With each miniseries Morrison has been having fun experimenting with different genres. Klarion the Witchboy sees Morrison trying his hand at very weird fantasy, matched with artwork by Frazer Irving that is (once again) absolutely perfect for the subject at hand. Klarion is reboot of a character of the same way, once again another Jack "King" Kirby creation for DC. Kirby's Klarion came from a place that was called Witch-World where everyone practiced dark magic. He was extremely talented, but frustrated by the adults of his world, so he opened a portal to the normal universe and with his cat familiar Teekl, arrived on Earth wanting to know all there was about witchcraft and maybe wreak a little havoc on the way. Morrison stays true to these very broadstrokes, but relocates Klarion to a lost Puritan colony (called Roanoke, which is a real, and infamous case of a town that just vanished) that fell through the earth and was renamed Limbo Town. Klarion is still rebellious and still has a ginger cat called Teekl, but aspects of the Limbo Town's magic and backstory is tied in with the Sheeda storyline rather than following Kirby's narrative.
Beulah: "I suppose you think you can follow father beyond High Market and never come back. Think again Klarion".
The undead workers are called "Grundys" and are branded by the towns religious leader, Submissionary Judah. Although the Grundy pleads to be left to sleep in peace he is broken by "Great Croatan who abides and knows all things." Teekl then grabs something, which turns out to be a tiny Sheeda. Klarion asks to touch it, but Judah asks if he would be a submissionary and bear the heavy knowledge?
Klarion: "Possibly. It's the sort of work I'm sure I'd find it very rewarding."
|Teekl, Klarion's familiar.|
|Klarion and Ezekiel chat about things|
Ezekiel: "This cake of light was not made to last long in our solid world. But I defied the submissionaries and ate it and I kept it's miraculous imperishable covering so I might remember its sweetness."
And he shows Klarion a Kit-Kat wrapper. Klarion is fascinated by it, and possibly is the final push he needed to run away himself. He must move fast though, because of the Sheeda the religious elders plan on closing "the Wicket Gate" and cease trading with the trolley men. At a town meeting Judah claims to channel their God Croatoan who unsurprisingly agrees the gate must be closed.
Klarion sends Teekl to cause some mischief with Judah, and using his eyes sees Judah and his two men summon a being called Horigal to deal with the Witchman parliament members. Klarion races through the Wicket Gate to warn them, but all are killed, and Klarion comes face to face with Horigal, who appears to be a gestalt entity made up of the three summoners and their reptile familiars.
Horigal: "Ye broke the law! Ye ran away! Ye shall be judged! Ye sought a world beyond Limbo Town but there can be no such world! The truth would blind ye!"
Badde: "Do you return to you self-imposed punishment down there in the mills of Croatoan? Or would you go on? To higher things? The choice is yours."
Klarion: "What a world of mad wonders is this!"
Badde: "It's just a world Klarion...you'll soon get bored."
Badde agrees to show Klarion "Croatoan" and as they walk there they stumble across the dead bodies of the subway pirates from Manhattan Guardian's mini. Klarion asks if Badde ever bumped into his father on his travels, Badde says he has no. Then he finally shows Klarion "Croatoan". It's the same stone in a radioactive pool No-Beard and All-Beard were fighting over. Badde shows Klarion a die.
Badde: "This is the house of Croatoan. This is where the Witchmen come to be initiated in their one great and terrible truth. There is no Croatoan. Croatoan is an absent God. Maybe there was a God here once, but he's long, long gone. He escaped and left us on here alone. Only his dreadful chains remain."
|Klarion finds out his religion is a lie and is amused.|
At the last minute Badde's guilt gets the better of him and he draws his gun, telling Klarion to run. But the feral kids attack en masse and overwhelm and kill him and it seems the men he was being sold to as well. Klarion takes Badde's die from his body.
|Note Manhattan Guardian's helmet here.|
Klarion: "Adventure Teekl! What can we do next? Which way do we go?
Mister Melmoth: "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mister Melmoth".
Now we already know from the Shining Knight mini that Melmoth is Queen Gloriana's husband (although if you are reading the stories in the suggested order, this revelation comes after Melmoth's introduction). Still the story doesn't beat around the bush, we are told he is a villain from the off. The next issue begins with Melmoth speaking to a mysterious group of men. We are filled in on the backstory of Limbo Town and how it is in fact the lost Puritan colony of Roanoke. The colonists experienced "intimate contact" with something not entirely human, and when the first changelings were born the colonists turned to a darker religion.
Man: "Like monstrous maggots burrowing away from he clean light, they hid their sins deep underground and there, somehow, they thrived, a lost trive of half-human witches."
Melmoth: "Everything is new to him. Everything is holy."
He says they will be using him to burrow down to Limbo Town and will be "Travelling in style". The action cuts to a terrified Klarion in a taxi being driven at high speed by one of the other delinquents from the hostel. They end up at the Museum of Superheroes. The pimp suited leader is called Billy Beezer, who says his gang was taught by Goldenboy and only takes the best. Although the better team is called "Team Red" a mysterious group they join when they turn sixteen.
|Stealing the giant drill.|
Billy: "I don't think I'm sure about Team Red."
Goldenboy: "...It's lies Billy, and pink skies and gold. It's a hard labour gang. Oh help me I've seen the gold mines. The gold in the red place...You're my apprentice Billy Beezer. Happy Birthday."
|The truth about Team Red.|
Klarion: "Your beloved Melmoth is a liar, a devil and a betrayer as I suspected. he wants you all for slaves."
Meanwhile Melmoth has assembled a group of armed men to travel with him in the drill to go plunder Limbo Town. The other kids want Klarion as their leader, but he walks away from them, saying "look not to me for salvation".
Teekl: "Brother Klarion. Evil will come to Limbo Town."
Klarion tries to brush this off, saying it's not his problem anymore. But his conscience forces him to return to warn them of Melmoths coming attack and he reluctantly descends back through the subway.
|Cat's are masters of guilt tripping.|
Melmoth: "Hello everyone. Daddy's home... I had spider-sex with all of your ancestors, you know. All those hot puritan girls They thought I was the devil and they crawled underground to have our babies."
|Klarion in a spot of trouble.|
Meanwhile Judah is dying from the injuries he sustained while being part of Horigal. He decides to make Klarion a Submissionary. He hands him his rod and points to a door which has a closely guarded secret behind it. It's a map. As Klarion contemplates it, the others chant "come Horigal, come!" Outside the soldiers have defeated the Grundies and Melmoth comes to the church.Judah refuses to believe he is part Sheeda, but Melmoth somehow "switches" him off mid sentence. Suddenly Klarion is revealed as a Horigal, a blending of himself and Teekl. He shreds the soldiers with Melmoth, who runs outside. Kalrion gives chase and Melmoth gets set on fire:
Melmoth: "Oh this is tiresome. Tiresome. This isn't blood that flows in old Mister M's veins anymore, oh no. The waters of the Cauldron of Rebirth run through me So try all you want, I'll never die."
Klarion: "I would like to be many things before I die mother. Today... today I will be a soldier."
|Teekl and Klarion head back to the surface.|