Blood of the Demon (2005)
By: J.R. McNamara on April 30, 2006  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Written by: John Byrne and Will Pfeifer
Art: John Byrne
Publisher: DC Comics Issues: 17
There is no doubt that Jack Kirby was a visionary of comic history. Along with others, such as Marvel comic's legend Stan Lee, Jack Kirby created or co-created superheroes that EVERYONE knows: Captain America, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk…. the gigantic list goes on. Even though Kirby had this massive input into Marvel's legendary creations, he never actually had any characters that he felt were truly his own. In the early seventies, Kirby left Marvel and went to DC comics, home of Superman and Batman, where he was able to create his own characters. During this time, Kirby created some fantastic offbeat characters: the amazing escape artist Mister Miracle, the still-revered science fiction series Kamandi: the Last Boy on Earth, the New Gods and the indomitable Etrigan the Demon.

Jack Kirby's original series only went for 16 issues and told the tales of Etrigan, a Demon son of the archfiend Belial, who was controlled by Merlin the Magician and was used in his battle against the medieval witch, Morgane LeFay, in her attempted destruction of Camelot. Once defeated, Merlin bound the Demon to a human druid known as Jason Blood. Now bound to the Demon, Blood travelled around the world, immortal, and never staying in one place for too long, so his terrible secret would never be uncovered…and Etrigan trapped inside, swore he would eventually be free of Blood's mortal shell….

DC comics have not been known for their 'horror comics' for over ten years, really since their Vertigo imprint came to being, through which comics like Sandman, Swamp Thing, Preacher and other have been published, so their recent adventures into returning The Demon's world to their mainstream 'universe' came as a surprise. The Demon has always been part of that universe, with various adventures with characters like Batman and the Phantom Stranger, sometimes as fool, and sometimes as fiend (he even appeared in the Justice League cartoon) over the years since Kirby's original series and Matt Wagner's (Grendel, Mage) mini series from the eighties. But now he has been brought back to the forefront by Jack Kirby aspirant, John Byrne.

Byrne, known for his tenures on many titles, such as Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four, She-Hulk and the revamp of Superman, and his creator owned titles Next Men and The Babe, has taken on the helm of plotter and artist of a new Demon series titled Blood of the Demon. Bryne's art on Blood of the Demon is a lot 'dirtier' than what Byrne fans would be used to, probably to make sure that this was not to be mistaken as a 'hero' book. This series has had some fantastic storylines and Byrne's art is bang on. The pacing is perfect and the scripting by Will Pfeifer is amazing.

Unfortunately this series has been cancelled as of issue 17, but no doubt DC will collect it as a trade paperback sometime in the near future. With any luck they shall collect the original Demon as well…
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