Mephisto told the team of how he had given Dan Lyons the health to become the Black Marvel, as well as the ability to create them. He offered them the ability to go home, if they forgave Black Marvel. The team bickered among themselves and he divided them up to test them individually. He was unimpressed by their performance and sent his horde after them to test them as a team.
The team was being overwhelmed by a swarm of demons as Mephisto enjoyed the variety of emotions that they were feeling. Dusk knew that they were failing because they were playing by Mephisto's rules. She used the power that she had sensed inside her and her energy wiped out the horde. Mephisto appeared to admit that they had fought harder than he expected and Ricochet asked if that meant they could go home. A crossroads appeared, with one road leading to a door to Times Square. Ricochet began to run to the door but was stopped when he saw that no one else was with him. Hornet told him that they couldn't leave because that was what Mephisto wanted.
Looking back into Hell, they saw that the rest of the horde was heading toward the crystal containing Lyons soul. Hornet refused to leave their former mentor and Dusk said that if he was going to try and save Lyons, then she would too. Ricochet hesitated while Prodigy warned that if they didn't head to the door immediately, then they may not have another chance. Hornet was overwhelmed by the horde, while Dusk observed from afar. Hornet begged him to save Black Marvel, who reluctantly threw one of his disks at the crystal. It bounced off of it and despite his despair, he ran to the crystal prison. Mephisto appeared and warned him that he was merely human flesh, while his evil power was tireless. Johnny removed his costume and said that he was done being Ricochet, because Mephisto created that identity.
Johnny decided that if he had the power to save a soul, then at least he could have accomplished that. Mephisto told him that many souls reside in Hell, all looking for freedom. His mother appeared, saying they can finally go home. Prodigy stopped him, telling him that it's a lie. Mephisto is a liar and none of what he saw was real. Nothing but Prodigy's hatred. He let go of that hatred by removing his costume. Hornet said that he had always felt weak, from dawn to dusk. He gave up his suit of armor, saying he had never felt stronger. Mephisto asked Dusk what she wanted to know about her powers and all of the secrets she could learn. She never gained anything from him. She didnt know what her powers were, but she brought them on herself. She let Mephisto know they'd be leaving.
Hornet asked what to do about Black Marvel but they saw that the crystal was cracked and his soul was freed. The team exited the door to Times Square as Mephisto pondered if their nobility would last forever. When they returned to New York, they saw that it was if nothing had ever happened. They spent some time at their rooftop, sometimes talking and sometimes not. It was their best time together. Before leaving, Ritchie apologized to all of them for his arrogance and cruelty. Ritchie thanked him and called him Johnny. Dusk needed to leave as dawn was near. She planned on going away to learn more about her powers. When Eddie asked if they'd see her again and she said there was always hope.
Johnny and Eddie decided to move on with their lives. They spray painted "Slingers were here" onto the billboard on their rooftop. Johnny and Eddie said they's had fun and Johnny broke the fourth wall to ask if we had fun too. Eddie responded that he thought we did.
They did the moral thing and did it as their civilian selves. That's a pretty standard ending but I liked the goodbyes at the end. It seemed like an honest way to end the series, instead of the "we've in it forever" ending. It did seem like the creative team had fun with the series.
It was a fun 12 issue story. It had potential and I liked where the story was going. Hornet's power pack was a consistent source of plot holes, which was odd. Over the following years, the characters showed up in various comics. It's nice that the characters are remembered.
1. Hornet was later killed by a mind controlled Wolverine. (Wolverine (Vol. 3) #23, 2005)
2. Ricochet joined a group called the Runaways, with the hope of keeping other teenagers from becoming superheroes. (Runaways (Vol. 2) #1 - #6, 2005)
3. Prodigy got drunk when the Superhuman Registration Act was declared and ranted over the injustice of it. (Civil War Frontline (Vol. 1) #2, 2006)
4. Dusk, Ricochet and Prodigy showed up in Las Vegas when a demon took the form of Black Marvel. (Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider (Vol. 1) #8 - #13, 2017)
5. Hobie Brown used a new Hornet costume after Knull invaded Earth with his symbiote army. (Planet of the Symbiotes (Vol. 2) #2), 2021)
Not a great ending but it was fun.