The Demon: Hell is Earth #6 – Andrew Constant, Writer; Brad Walker, Penciller; Andrew Hennessy, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Killing Demons
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The magical relaunches for DC have been a mixed bag, with some being very good (Mystik U) and others being unmitigated disasters (Deadman, Ragman). Caught in the middle is The Demon: Hell Is Earth, a new take on Etrigan and Jason Blood, which hasn’t managed to a create strong enough reaction in me to fall on either side. It started out as a Hulk-like comic, playing on the tense alliance between Jason Blood and Etrigan, complete with a nuclear explosion to set off the series plot. Then it became a road-trip through hell with Madame Xanadu and Merlin along for the ride. Once Etrigan’s evil father Belial was revealed as the main villain of the series, it essentially just became an elaborate way for Etrigan to kill demons for a few issues. So, it’s not a surprise that the final issue is more of the same, although it does pack in a few mildly interesting twists along the way.
Jason Blood’s story goes back to Arthurian England, and writer Constant makes decent use of this, with Merlin’s heroic sacrifice this issue leading to a reveal about exactly what he’s been concealing inside him. There are some good visuals, particularly those involving Lucifer, transformed into a giant wolf-beast. However, the biggest problem this series has is that Belial is a blank slate as a villain, really nothing more than a bigger, more evil Etrigan. It’s an attempt to make Etrigan more compelling by comparison, but it doesn’t really work. Constant’s Etrigan isn’t a trickster or an anti-hero, he has more in common with Lobo – a wild animal that can be unleashed against a deserving target. The series ends with the status quo largely restored and both Jason and Etrigan getting what they want – a decent conclusion, but about as memorable as the rest of this series.
Corrina: The biggest problem with The Demon: Hell Is Earth has been the pacing, with the last three issues essentially one big demon fight. If some of that space had been devoted instead to Jason’s supporting cast and what they’ve meant to him over the centuries, then their decision to team-up to fight Belial would have some emotional weight. But, as it is, all they seem to do is bicker between fights, until Merlin’s final sacrifice.
It’s a waste of characters like Blood and Xanadu. The first two issues teased something interesting with Jason but that seemed to be lost along the way. I guess what I’m saying is I needed less of the demon and more of the humans trapped in the demon fight.
However, the art has been top-notch throughout and I could practically smell the brimstone in the trek through hell.
I wish I could figure out why this was allowed six issues (it would have worked in four) but Batman and the Signal received only three issues.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.