Pursued by a legion of demons, Jason Blood finds himself stuck with a very angry Etrigan, a confused Madame Xanadu, and Merlin?
THE DEMON: HELL IS EARTH #3
Author: Andrew Constant
Artist: Brad Walker
Inker: Andrew Hennesy
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
With their roles reversed, Jason Blood and Etrigan flee a nuclear explosion in search of a child they both keep dreaming about. They find the child, and Etrigan immediately barbecues her with his hellish fiery breath.
What You’ll Find Out:
This issue opens with the Army launching everything they have at the demonic dome left after the nuclear blast, to disastrous results. Their attack seems to have spawned more demons, while our titular demon, Etrigan is trapped inside the dome. Blood confronts him about burning the child they were seeking. Etrigan shows that this was no child at all, but was, in fact, Merlin, the man who bound them together in the first place. After a scuffle, Merlin reveals that he’s on the run from Hell itself, and the girl Nimue was a disguise. He also reveals that there is a new king in Hell, and the Earth is being invaded. Lucifer has been imprisoned and the new ruler is Belial, father of both Etrigan and Merlin. This twisted family reunion is interrupted by Belial’s army. No longer disguised, Belial’s brother and leader of the demonic horde have tracked Merlin. Etrigan offers to ally himself with them, but they reject him. He does not take it well and kills his uncle and his army. It seems Etrigan is going to war.
What Just Happened?
This was another solid issue. I particularly enjoyed them folding Merlin back into the story. I did not see that coming at the end of the last issue at all. I think my favorite thing about this series is Etrigan is not written as a hero or even an antihero. He has no problem with abandoning Jason Blood or Madame Xanadu when he hears hell is invading Earth. The only thing that makes him fight his uncle is his pride. Etrigan is a monster, as he should be, and is willing to fight all the forces of Hell to correct this slight against him. I feel like Andrew Constant is really nailing the uneasy alliances the rest of the cast has been forced to make with Etrigan. While this issue has a lot of exposition, which is necessary, there is also a lot of action and a lot of humor.
The Demon: Hell is Earth continues to deliver a fun and fresh take on a character which has had a little bit of an identity crisis in his history. This miniseries delivers on the aspects of the earlier runs of the Demon that I liked, but also gives me things I always wanted from the character but never saw. One hell of a fun read.