Passing The Torch (CoH)
"Passing the Torch" is the final storyline in the Top Cow Comics incarnation of the "City of Heroes" comic series. This storyline introduces readers to the new leaders of the Vanguard, including the return of Freedom Phalanx founding member Dark Watcher, and the return of the Rikti.
The issue starts with Lady Grey talking with Dark Watcher assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Freedom Phalanx. As Positron and Synapse begin investigating signs of increased Rikti activity, they are visited by Ascendant, Castle, and Beef Cake, and later with the ghost of War Witch. Statesman and Ms. Liberty are visited by Dark Watcher, who warned Statesman that a war was coming, and when that war comes, Statesman needs to step aside. Sisters Borea and Levantera pay Manticore and Sister Psyche a visit and offer an invitation to Manticore to be the new head of security for Vanguard, which he declines.
Back at Vanguard Headquarters, Serpent Drummer is recruited, and Dark Watcher says that the five of them would have to deal with the Freedom Phalanx if necessary.
As Positron leads the Phalanx to the crashed Rikti Mothership in the Rikti War Zone, his device shows the opening of a new portal, and Rikti soldiers emerge. One by one, the members are picked off by the attacking Rikti.
Suddenly a being resembling Hero 1 appears, knocking down Manticore and holding Ms. Liberty by the neck, and saying "SURRENDER OR PERISH".
Immediately following Issue #19, the Honoree, a twisted Rikti version of Hero 1 (as so named in the narration), tries to get the sword Excalibur from the unconscious body of Ms. Liberty, but is blocked by two mystical faeries. Then Statesman engages the Honoree in battle. The Rikti breaches Positron's armor and he is prevented from teleporting away. The armor explodes, vaporizing Positron, but the blast is contained by Gaussian and the arriving members of Vanguard.
As the Rikti and the Honoree retreat, Dark Watcher resurrects Synapse, Sister Psyche, and Positron. Positron is not only restored, but he once again has a corporeal body. The two groups compare notes, and Lady Grey warn the Phalanx to focus their attention on Arachnos and leave the Rikti to them. They part on uneasy terms, and the Phalanx members plus Ms. Liberty head back to Atlas Park.
Passing through Independence Port, they stop to deal with Lusca before returning to the top of the giant statue of Atlas in front of City Hall. Ms. Liberty drops down to her usual post in front of the statue, Synapse realizes that there was a navigation badge on top of the statue, and Manticore proposes to Sister Psyche, and the issue (and the comic series) ends with her saying "Yes".
After the Top Cow Comic series ended, fan-created comics picked up some of the stories left open.
The wedding of Manticore and Sister Psyche was covered both in-game as part of the Valentine's Day celebrations as well as a special comic series by ChaseArcanum.
The Honoree and the Rikti would return in-game as part of the Second Rikti Invasion of 2007.