The following contains spoilers for Savage Avengers #5, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Marvel’s new Savage Avengers run is how it’s shifting the status quo with major characters. With the heroes trapped in the Hyborian Age, a major surprise came with the revelation Deathlok was a version of Miles Morales who tried to save his reality from the Annihilus Wave. In the process, the scarred hero realized killing Conan was the only way to reset the timeline, shaping a unique cat-and-mouse game.
However, the heroes had more to worry about than just Miles, with Thulsa Doom slitting Conan’s throat and bringing the serpent god, Set, to life to usher in an apocalypse. It painted a high-stakes story and while some resolution was garnered regarding the mystical villains in Savage Avengers #5 (by David Pepose, Carlos Magno, Espen Grundetjern, and VC’s Travis Lanham), there were shady alterations made to two key protagonists.
In “We Are Legend”, the heroes attacked Thulsa Doom and Set after Conan’s murder. Thankfully, Deathlok realized he was making a mistake and joined them, wanting to ensure Conan’s enemies were vanquished. But this led to a shocking change for Black Knight/Dane Whitman. Sensing they were short of manpower against Set’s army, he used the Eldritch sword Thulsa Doom used to usher in the dark god and became the one thing he hated: Bloodwraith. In previous Black Knight lore, the Bloodwraith was the form the Black Knight’s squire, Sean Dolan, took in the ’90s. The Ebony Blade made him this horrific entity, eager for flesh and blood, which is why the Avengers often fought him.
Dane was left broken so many times as he hated seeing Sean consumed by this darkness, so fans are eager to see why this curse has befallen Dane. He has been angrier in recent times, especially after his resurrection, but there’s no telling how corrupted Dane’s soul is now due to Thulsa Doom’s blade, and the power of Dane’s own sword. Luckily, Elektra got him to calm down and dispel the Bloodwraith. But now the team has its own unique Hulk problem moving forward should he lose control.
The second change came when Weapon H/Clay Cortez absorbed the gamma energy from Deathlok’s battery to power up. He became a hybrid of the Red Hulk, Harpy, the sinister Leader again, and also, his usual gray form with Wolverine’s claws, crafting an amalgamation like never before. The problem is, though, when they stopped Set and Thulsa Doom thanks to a revived Conan and got tossed through another time portal, Clay got stuck in his Weapon H form.
They weren’t able to teleport home, ending up in the Punisher 2099’s home, leaving folks curious if it’s the time jump that altered Clay’s body or all the changes he endured in Conan’s era. Either way, he’s worried he can’t change back to his human side, with Dane also scared he’s becoming a permanent Bloodwraith. Ultimately, it’s left Elektra with a massive headache, especially as Punisher 2099 isn’t too trusting and ready to start a new war with what he perceives to be lethal incursions.