The Demon: Hell is Earth #4 – Andrew Constant, Writer; Brad Walker, Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Endless Combat
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As Andrew Constant’s take on Etrigan enters its second half, The Demon: Hell is Earth #4 has devolved into an action-packed, exciting battle comic that keeps toying with some interesting concepts but is frequently bogged down in endless combat. Brad Walker’s art is the main selling point here, as he floods the page with demons, lava snakes, and hellhounds, but what’s odd is that this comic is essentially a sequel to a comic book from six years ago, Demon Knights. As Belial, the new lord of Hell, marches his army forward, the ragtag team of Jason Blood, Etrigan, Madame Xanadu and Merlin can barely get along long enough to move forward. They march forward, stop, argue, fight a monster, etc. over the course of the issue. Fortunately, a lot of these battle scenes are particularly spectacular, especially a giant burrowing snake that Etrigan intends to eat.
The Etrigan/Jason Blood bond is probably the most interesting part of the concept. Even though they’re separated for the first time in centuries, they still can’t be free of each other – Jason attempts to flee and finds that there’s essentially an invisible leash connecting them. In addition, Xanadu has a bond, however, twisted it may be, to both of them. However, any conversations that flesh this out generally feel like brief respites from what are essentially boss battles in comic book form. The comparisons to Hulk in the way Jason is yoked to Etrigan but is also the only person who can keep him under control are clear, but still less blatant than in, say, Damage. Overall, this isn’t a bad series – it looks great, and the characters are intriguing enough – but we’ve seen takes on Etrigan and Jason Blood that were far stronger in Demon Knights and the recent Kirby special.
Corrina: This comic started so promisingly, with a moody take on Jason Blood and a mystery surrounding how and why a demon influenced the beginnings of nuclear winter. But, as Ray said, it’s devolved into endless combat between the various demons, with nothing to separate their differing personalities other than Walker’s brilliant art.
Demon Knights was a good series but it seems many character interactions in this story are being truncated, with the understanding that the reader can draw on that past series. Read alone, the interactions are too shallow to make an emotional impact, save for Jason’s obvious distress that he cannot separate from Etrigan. There are still moments to like overall in this series but it needs to improve from this issue to fully succeed.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.