Issue: Charmed #8: Oh, Henry
Release Date: March 2011
Author: Paul Ruditis
Artist: Carlos Granda
Cover A: David Seidman
Colors: John Hunt
Letters: Jim Campbell
Editors: Ralph Tedesco and Paul Ruditis
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
The fight with Rennek is no longer a future event as we start the issue being thrown straight into the action! I always enjoy seeing the fight between good and evil playing out on my screen, or in this case on the page. I’ve commented before how the storyline of the arc seemed to be going very slowly in the first few issues, but now it’s been amped up to a level that I’m accustomed to for the show.
First, a note about some of the things that didn’t work for me. I wasn’t a fan of the artwork, but I can’t figure out if it’s because of the art itself or the coloring of it. I have a noted preference for softer tones and lines, neither of which are evident in this issue when it comes to the Charmed Ones. The demon side of the storyline, however, has plenty of softer tones. Why the opposite mood-setting? It doesn’t completely take me away from the storyline, but it does leave me a little sad at the potential of what might have been. As an aside, in terms of background design, I find the really huge picture of the twins above their playpen to be disturbing. The kids are right there; you don’t need a bigger-than-life-size picture, just look down. But the storyline is what’s most important, so let’s focus on that.
Rennek is taking down Whitelighters and the Charmed Ones are yet again too late to save the victims. One day they won’t be a step behind, but today is not that day. Sadly, one of the victims was a homeless pregnant woman who passed away as a result of the battle. However, her baby was still alive, so Paige did the only thing she could do… she orbed the baby right out of the womb. Somehow I’m reminded of Angel, but that’s a different story. Paige claims she’ll simply ask her old boss as Social Services what to do with the orphan and all will be well. You knew it wasn’t going to be that simple. Paige is soft-hearted, and she and Henry are foster parents, so what better solution than to take the baby home with them?
Paige is all about welcoming the boy into their lives. And if suitable parents can’t be found for him, then she’s completely willing to adopt a miniature Henry into their lives. Adult Henry has a more sensible head on his shoulders, with reminders of financial responsibilities and, oh yes, the fact that a Darklighter is out there trying to kill Whitelighters. But Paige deals with the constant threat of death by trying to focus on life. And I can understand the rationale, though I see Henry’s point quite clearly. In the end, it will be what it will be, so they better just enjoy the ride.
I find it endearing that Henry is finally voicing his doubts about this whole life. Yes, he loves Paige and the twins, but he’s also honest in that he feels like he’s the powerless one in this equation. Having to deal with magic on a daily basis is tiring and scary. Paige is in constant danger, the twins have that dangerous life to look forward to, and Henry can’t really protect his family from any of it. To bring an innocent, mortal child into the middle of that is not something Henry would wish upon the little boy. But now is not the time for family drama, as there is real drama going on outside. Paige must join her sisters and fight yet again, leaving Henry behind to deal as he always has.
Rennek and Neena are meanwhile down below, planning. The lack of consistency on their character sketches always takes me some time to get used to, from issue to issue, but I push on. Rennek is rightly suspicious of trusting Neena, namely because she killed her last partner and he doesn’t want to suffer the same fate. He trusts her as long as he doesn’t turn his back on her, I’m guessing. And now that the requirements for the plan have escalated from needing Whitelighter powers to needing demon powers, the fight may get more dangerous.
Later, Neena and her demon army are going a little bit crazy on the Golden Gate Bridge and the Elders are powerless to stop her. The Charmed Ones don’t have much hope of faring any better, but at least they’re willing to try. Too bad for Kyle that they’re once again too late to make a difference, at least for him. And then Piper goes missing, which is terrifying to think about. What’s even more terrifying is that Leo would rather come back later and try to find her than stay in the midst of Neena. Who is she and why does Leo fear her so much? Her identity reveal is what we’re left to ponder as we leave this issue. The thought of how much power Neena must have harnessed makes us wonder how bloody the resulting fight to take her down will be.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars