The following contains spoilers for Midnight Suns #3, available now from Marvel Comics.
When Zoe Laveau was caught in the Marvel Universe’s latest ominous prophecy, she also became the single most sought after person on Earth for all the wrong reasons. In turn, Agatha Harkness and the Midnight Suns both made it their mission to protect her, and while the former has managed to do that so far, the latter ended up farther away than they could have ever imagined. In the depths of the Dark Dimension, the Midnight Suns have discovered that many of their powers don’t work as they should. In the case of the team’s spirit rider, however, things couldn’t be better, and it is all thanks to their horrifying change of scenery.
While Agatha and Zoe plumb the past for a solution to their nightmarish present, the eponymous team of Midnight Suns #3 (by Ethan Sacks, Luigi Zagaria, Antonio Fabela, and VC’s Joe Sabino) are stuck battling their way through the Dark Dimension in search of a way out. After being trapped in Clea’s home realm by none other than the Sorcerer Supreme herself, Magik and Nico Minoru have found that their mystic abilities are outside their command. As much as this makes sense for how far they are from anything remotely resembling home, Kushala is having a vastly different experience with her own powers. It seems as though the Dark Dimension has given her a boost in every conceivable way, though that is hardly surprising considering all the desperate spirits who inhabit it.
The Dark Dimension Made Marvel’s Spirit Rider Even Stronger
The Dark Dimension has been a prime location in the wider Marvel Universe ever since it was introduced in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s “The Domain of the Dread Dormammu!” from 1964’s Strange Tales #126. At the time, the future Sorcerer Supreme had been sent on behalf of the Ancient One in the hopes of offering both a message and a thinly veiled threat to its malevolent ruler. As a former Hell itself, the Dark Dimension is a twisting, almost unfathomable realm filled with all manner of horrors. For most of its visitors, this makes it treacherous territory to say the least, whereas, for Kushala and her infernal flames, it is a font of previously unfounded strength.
Beyond her place as a former Sorcerer Supreme, Kushala is empowered by a Spirit of Vengeance like nearly every other Rider of her ilk. As such, all the pain and torment held within the Dark Dimension provides her with an ever-increasing source of fuel to fan the ethereal fire which burns within her. This may not have been what Clea had hoped for when she left the Midnight Suns to their temporary exile, but it could very well be what allows them to escape in time to save Zoe Laveau from a fate she neither asked for nor deserves.
Kushala May be the Marvel Universe’s Only Hope
Apart from showcasing just how dire of circumstances the souls who have been left behind to fester in the Dark Dimension truly are, Kushala’s display of power is also indicative of just how different it is from the Marvel Universe fans know best. This isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of spirits in need of avenging on Earth, but rather that their plight is nothing compared to those on the other side of the veil between realities.
Then again, on Earth, there is always hope for something better to come about, while the Dark Dimension offers almost nothing kind to anyone who wasn’t born of it, to begin with. Hopefully, Kushala’s flame will be able to light the way for her and the rest of her compatriots to make their way back home. Considering how much stronger she is within the Dark Dimension, it is hard to imagine she won’t hold the key to the heroes’ escape. That is, assuming the Dark Dimension’s influence over her doesn’t burn so hot that Kushala herself is lost to the fires of her Spirit of Vengeance.