Magic gangs fight for control against government forces seriously out of their depth. Even with Piper, Phoebe, and Paige on the case, there is little they can do without their own magic. Overwhelmed and outnumbered, the side of good must hang all their hope on the single most powerful witch in the world.
Prue/Patience (who will be referred to as Prutience for the rest of this synopsis) is using magic to fight off a gang and protect a magic-less demon in the hopes of getting information from him. Meanwhile at the Manor, Piper appears to have gotten some of her powers back, freezing a vase briefly before it falls and breaks. Prutience, who now has the powers of all the Charmed Ones, orbs in. Darryl doesn't recognize her as Prue, and Phoebe admits she's having trouble seeing Prue's soul too. Prutience explains that Rennek stole the Grimoire, and the sisters believe that's what's causing all this. While Paige fills in Darryl on the Grimoire, and Glynnis (the maker of the Empyreal Sword) shows up saying her non-magic weapons have become magical, Piper and Prutience talk about her absence and why she stayed away.
Meanwhile, Glynnis says the sword Leo has now ISN'T the Empyreal Sword, which means that Rennek must have it, and he's using it in conjunction with the Grimoire to control what's going on on Earth. Rennek observes things from his plane and sends another large magic gang at the manor. Prutience uses all her powers to hold off the gang, and the Charmed Ones get their powers back in the battle. Phoebe has a premonition in which she sees Prutience dead, but can't do anything to act in time. Prutience unleashes all her powers and dies.
She ends up in between life and death, where she meets up with Cole, who is helping all the souls who can't move on, since magic shifted on Earth. Prutience and Cole talk, with Prutience wondering why she's the one who always has to sacrifice. Cole says he has a way to get back to Earth, which he was going to use himself to help the sisters, but he thinks Prutience would be better suited for the job. Paige uses her healing powers and brings Prutience back. Prutience is once again powerless, but has a new lead on Rennek, thanks to Cole.
Holy crap there was a lot of dialogue in that issue. It was 24 pages long, but it felt like 36. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, necessarily, but the issue really requires multiple reads to take everything in.
We continue to get filled in on what happened during the story jump between Issues #19 and #20, with this issue answering the mystery of where the hell Prutience has been during all of this. It's too bad that we didn't get to see more of The Charmed One before she lost her powers again. That would've made for a cool issue or even a mini series.
I loved the scene between Cole and Prutience, even if it raised the question of why the Prutience's soul form "in between" looked like Patience and not Prue (contract issues are awesome!). It was fair for Prutience to wonder why it was always her that had to sacrifice, because it really has been. She lost Andy in Season 1, died in Season 3 and gave up her magic in Season 9. That's rough.
I thought Darryl was kind of underutilized, but with so much going on, someone's going to fall by the wayside. Still, it was weird to go from big splashy reveal at the end of Issue #21 to him basically serving an expository role in #22. Then again, at least he was in the issue, unlike Coop and Henry.
We've been assuming for awhile now that Rennek caused this, and now we've got solid confirmation on that. I'd still love to know how he pulled it off and what his endgame is, but I'm assuming that's coming. Trying to squeeze all that into this issue might have literally made the words explode.
As if it wasn't enough to throw all that story at us in this issue, Zenescope also unleashed a new artist, in the form of "Rubine" (just one name). It's a vast difference from Dean Kotz's style, and kind of reminiscent of Dave Hoover's early work on the series. The lines are tight and a lot of that "sketchy" shadowing is gone. The likenesses of the three sisters are pretty good, and he (I think it's a he... though admittedly I have no idea) has each of them with a vastly different hairstyle, so it's easy to quickly identify them.
I did find it interesting that Prutience looked more like Shannen Doherty than she had in previous incarnations, particularly in the scene with Cole. I don't know if that was a conscious move by the artist or just my imagination, but there appeared to be a hint of a likeness there. Nothing that would get Zenescope in legal trouble, obviously, but... well, you can get the issue and judge for yourself.
Previous Issue#21, Reversal of Misfortune
Prue Ya Gonna Call
#23, The Darklight Zone