The Demon: Hell is Earth #5 – Andrew Constant, Writer; Brad Walker; Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Corrina: Holding Pattern Before the Big Showdown
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The Demon: Hell Is Earth #5, the penultimate issue of DC’s big magic revival pretty much devolves into a series of random battles with monsters and demons that come out of nowhere. Now that Etrigan’s even-more-evil father Belial has imprisoned Lucifer and taken control of hell, he’s tormenting the former king of hell and sending all the demonic forces he can muster to kill his son. He’s even gotten himself a fancy new catchphrase and transforms Lucifer into a reluctant hellhound to assist him. Etrigan, Merlin, Xanadu, and the ghostlike Jason Blood continue to march onward, fighting one demonic invasion after another and bickering the whole while. At one point, a group of demons made out of sulfuric lava show up, and they’re mostly notable for just how much they look like Marvel symbiotes. Etrigan manages to get some fancy moves, but everything feels kind of uninspired – even his rhymes.
Then a new player enters the picture, Etrigan’s evil uncle Suge, now working for Belial as well. However, he too is little more than a giant ogre that poses some token opposition before being taken out. The best parts of the issue are those where Jason Blood gets to shine, using his new immaterial abilities to distract and destroy the rather stupid demons. Those scenes have a cleverness to them that’s sorely lacking from the many scenes of monsters smashing each other. By the end of the issue, both the action scenes and some of the dialogue are fairly jumbled, just not following neatly from panel to panel. As we leave off, Belial has finally made his move, setting up next issue’s final showdown, but we’ve been given few emotional stakes to latch on to. Etrigan can be a good character and was in the Demon Knights run, but here he might as well be a cartoon heel making a face turn. It’s fun to watch, but don’t expect substance.
Corrina: The Demon: Hell Is Earth #5 is one of those issues where you know everything is going to hell (literally so, in this story) but the journey there has its moments. Few and far between, because this is just a prelude to the final showdown, but a few.
First up, would be Madame Xanadu taking a demon to task for calling her “girlie.” Next would be Belial’s ridiculous slogan. Then there’s Jason using his immaterial self to win battles.
And that’s about it. Belial postures and preens quite a bit, Merlin is useless, generally, as usual. (Does Merlin ever do anything but speak of ill things to come and fail in DC Comics?), and Lucifer is turned into a hellhound under Belial’s command.
Oh, and Earth becomes Hell. I expect that to change next issue.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.