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Next up, the Ennead fight (see the Ra and Ennead episodes) where his major contribution was to try to counter the magical protective bubble created by Isis and to allow the heroes into Egypt. This is within his abilities and it would have worked had not Shu, y'know, stabbed him through the torso (see "The Grave Beckons").
- Crossover with Ra's plot - after his defeat by the Ennead and subsequent disappearance, Faye is one of the heroes to step up to deal with them. She has a big magic duel with Isis, which Faye loses. This rattles her as she has always been the hero to take care of these magical threats. After some soul-searching she recreates the events that curses her, regaining the mist powers, but due to her new knowledge she goes further, pulling on the magic of the Void, drawing it into herself (becoming more of a "magical being" than a mortal one, leaving her trapped there for subjective centuries until she manages to find her way back). This is touched upon in her Dark Watch bio. She's only been gone a few days in the "real world", but she's changed a lot and is "legit powerful" now. She rejoins the fight with the Ennead again and just wipes the floor with Isis.
- Dark Watch forms (see the other members' episodes and stay tuned for the Dark Watch team installment).
When The Ennead made their modern-day appearance, destroying any population centers they entered and calling out their challenge for Ra to come and face them, the heroes of the world immediately took notice. None so fast as Ra himself, who arrogantly sought them out alone to meet their challenge. The combined might of The Ennead proved to be greater than Ra anticipated, however, and he was defeated in a massive battle which left the surrounding cities and desert even more of a wasteland.
The fight with The Ennead left Ra stunned and shattered. He could not remember who he was, nor that there was a part of him that used to be Dr. Blake Washington, Jr. The being formerly known as Ra wandered into the desert, disappearing from the public eye entirely for years.
Meanwhile, The Ennead continued their assault on the world, drunk with power and thirsting for more! Various teams of heroes, such as the Freedom Five, took them on and managed to quell their attacks for some time, but The Ennead proved consistently able to regroup and recover, redoubling their efforts each time.
Now, years later, The Ennead are met with a new challenger who reminds them of an ancient foe they once had. Ra has returned from his wandering, but he seems something more…
- Now onto phase three - introduce a major threat specific to him. This is where the Ennead come in - a group of nine gods whose cult rose to prominence after Ra's cult had (in actual, historical mythology). This is the price that Anubis alluded to - he did some sand shifting to uncover the temple of the Ennead. This newly uncovered dig site attracted a bunch of grave-robbers, many of whom died from the various traps and whatnot, but finally nine of them, led by Roderick Ward, made it to the central chamber and took up the artifacts there becoming avatars of the Ennead in the same way that Blake Washington became Ra.
- The Ennead are the most significant/important enemies of Ra in the Multiverse era of stories, but we'll get a lot more specifics about them next week. Generally they decide that being in charge of Egypt isn't enough and they set out to take over the world, blowing up cities and whatnot (y'know, standard villain stuff). Ra shows up pretty quick given that he can recognize their energy being back in the world and takes them all on by himself. This does not go well for Ra.
- When he loses, they chain him up (see some of his incap art or the cover of Baptism by Fire #4 in the Villain Challenge PDF) and Isis uses her magic to lock him into the Ra form, but without any of the powers that normally come with it. Fanatic saves him, but then he goes into exile in the desert as a kind of penance (he's in Ra form, so he's functionally immortal even without his fire powers).
- The Ennead continues to wreck stuff, but other heroes manage to push them back to the point where they just have territory they control in Egypt (and, realizing that there's significant pushback out there, they seem content with this). As they continue to hold areas with considerable population centers to hold hostage, the heroes can't really make a major push to take them out.
- Ra's out of the picture again, but not for as long as his last absence. When he reemerges, he's lost his general pharaoh look and is now rocking an awesome beard. The Ennead are like, "Hey look, Ra's back" and he responds that he's not Ra, but Horus of the Two Horizons (again, this is a callback to how the cult of Horus supplanted the cult of the Ennead in actual history - and that a further development of the Horus myth was to conflate his identity with Ra - even mythology had retcons!). Fanatic helps out too, but this is primarily Ra's fight. The Ennead go after him as an existing "internal" threat and so don't rain down destruction on their cities as they would have in response to an external one. He's smarter this time, going after them individually and picking them off instead of a head-on rush against all of them at once. He prevails and the Ennead are out of the picture until pretty much the end of the Multiverse era - they don't do the thing where they pop up for small stories periodically that a lot of other villains do.
- This progression takes him from bombastic monster fighter to more of a "normal" hero - although still a loner who shows up in crossover events (like Vengeance, which is the next major thing that involves Ra who shows up right away to help, and promptly gets beaten up by Baron Blade due to the latter's newly-acquired powers).
- This is more or less his status quo until OblivAeon. Dr. Blake Washington Jr. is still around, as are some of his supporting cast like Marty, but more often it's just Ra doing Ra stuff, and that mostly in crossover stories involving the likes of Fanatic or the Prime Wardens in general.