Note: GeekDad puts all our DC reviews in separate posts. To find the reviews of all the other issues from November 15 and previous weeks, check our index.
The Demon: Hell Is Earth #1 – Andrew Constant, Writer; Brad Walker, Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Death Valley
Ray: This title is coming out on the 22nd, but DC has given us an advance look. So here’s a spoiler-free review of DC’s latest take on the demon Etrigan and his hapless human host, Jason Blood. The character’s shown up extensively in recent years, but mostly in team books like Demon Knights and Justice League Dark in the New 52, where he was used effectively. But he hasn’t had a solo series in over a decade. Andrew Constant, a name I haven’t seen before but who has worked on some critically acclaimed independent graphic novels, has a strong take inspired less by supernatural characters and more by another comic icon–the Incredible Hulk. This title is very much rooted in the duality of the character and rivalry between him and his hellish other half.
Brad Walker has done the art on quite a few DC comics before, but here he really gets to cut loose and show off his skill at drawing demonic, horrific characters. This issue is part horror, part mystery, as there’s a lot of diverse elements–the return of a classic Justice League Dark hero, a mysterious little girl with creepy visions, and a potentially cataclysmic military error–that converge in surprising fashion by the end of the issue. There’s a lot of twists and turns here that I didn’t see coming, including an intriguing new status quo for Etrigan and Blood by the end. Unlike the recent launch of Deadman, this feels like a fresh, engaging new start to a classic Kirby creation that has a lot of potential. I’m in for the ride, and I bet Constant is going to be on bigger DC characters soon enough.
Corrina: There are two kinds of relaunches of classic characters: one that concentrates on a new take and one that uses a classic version of the character in a story that suits them. This one is the latter, and Constant and the rest of the creative team show they have a handle on the type of characterization they want for the Demon right away. There have been times in previous stories where Jason Blood was arrogant, aloof, or weak, but this Jason is more world-weary and haunted, which makes perfect sense for a person sharing his soul/body with Etrigan. They both, however, seem to love a mystery, and this one is laid out well, especially for a first issue.
This issue also makes it clear that the supporting cast will have much to do, from the little girl with the nightmares to, well, the familiar face (no spoilers here) to the supernatural being behind this mess. General supernatural fans who are unfamiliar with the Demon should enjoy this, especially as you don’t need to know anything else about the character to understand this first issue.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.