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Friday, January 22, 2016

Review of The Demon v2 mini-series

Originally a creation of Jack Kirby’s in 1972, the Demon came into existence because there was a big demand from DC for new horror characters. The Demon’s first series ran until 1974, from then the character made sparse appearances in the DC universe until 1984 when Alan Moore included him in a Saga of the Swamp Thing run (#25 to #27) and fan interest in the character was raised considerably.

Based on this new popularity, DC decided to have Matt Wagner create a mini-series that re-introduced the new ’Moore’ version of the character (who is once again speaking in rhyme*) hopefully with the intention of generating enough sales to justify a regular series.

Etrigan the Demon makes frequent appearances in the DC universe during the 80s, often as a protagonist but sometimes as an antagonist. He finally got his own ongoing series in 1990.

This mini-series was written and penciled by Matt Wagner. Wagner is better known for his Comico/Dark Horse series Grendel. The Grendel series spends a lot of time dealing with demons and the devil, so Wagner is working in familiar territory here. While Etrigan the Demon (as a character) didn’t interest me that much, I found Wagner’s ‘film-noir’-ish art made me nostalgic for his early Grendel series (in a good way) - because, let’s face it, in this mini-series Jason Blood kind of looks like Hunter Rose. 

*His first appearance in the Demon #1 (1972) had him rhyming a few times, but then he quickly dropped it. He goes the next few years talking like a normal person. Until he makes an appearance in DC Comics Presents #44 (1984) and starts speaking in rhyme again. From 1984 to the present, the status of whether Etrigan rhymes or not depends on whoever has final creative control of the publication at the time (ex: Len Wein and Alan Moore vs John Byrne).  Here’s a link to someone who did more research than I did on this subject: more about the rhyming Demon.

This article first published in May 2013.

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