Tuesday, May 6, 2014

THE DEMON from DC Comics

Yarva Demonicus Etrigan.
Muta immutat accidens.
Liberum autem princeps illis in aeternum damnati sint.
Libera est a carne, ut in luto.
Fervescere faciet sanguinem in medio ignis.
Et egressus abiit in forma hominis est,
Surge, et dæmonium Etrigan!

DC Comics has a character created by Jack Kirby called the Demon.  Etrigan was a demon from Hell, bound to Earth through alliances and blood from Merlyn, and Jason Blood, humans who were cursed to be his human partners.

The comics are fabulous and have only been partially reprinted from the single issues.  And I hope that my offering them here will inspire you to seek them out, or to suggest to DC to reprint the various series that have yet to be reprinted.

Matt Wagner's 1987 4 issue series of the Demon is beautiful and self contained.  It should be reprinted, simply for the beauty and historicity of the work.

Strangely, while other people rave over the work of Wagner in Grendel, and Mage, and various other works, to me his excellence shown brightest in Demon.

Alan Grant and Val Semeiks wrote dark comedy with Demon in a very wonderful series in the 1990s.  That it has not been reprinted is criminal, diabolical, even, say, demonic.  Oh that was not even funny.   I firmly recommend finding the series, it is good in every way.

DC could make a lot of money by mining the good materials it has, instead of regurgitating the properties it has that it obviously believes people want more of.  But does anyone need more Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman saving the planet?  To whatever extent they are good or not, they've been done.

But that is just my opinion.

Change! Change, O form of man!
Release the might from fleshy mire!
Boil the blood in heart of fire!
Gone! Gone! — the form of man —
Rise, the Demon Etrigan!!


kurt wilcken said...

I first encountered Etrigan in the BLUE DEVIL SUMMER FUN SPECIAL back in the 80's, so I've always regarded him as a fun character. At the same time, Alan Moore had Etrigan guesting in SWAMP THING and wrote the character as extremely nasty, so had I been reading SWAMP THING at the time, my conception of the character would probably be very different.

I agree with you about Matt Wagner's DEMON miniseries. It was very good. The artwork would have benefited, though, had it been printed on better paper.

I have a copy of the very first DEMON comic. One thing that struck me was the techno-look Kirby gave to the Middle Ages. Partly, I suppose, that was because Kirby liked to draw things that way, but I really got the impression from that first issue that Jack intended all the magic of Merlin and Morgan le Fay to actually be alien technology.

The more recent depictions of Etrigan obviously haven't followed up on this idea -- if it was Jack's intention -- but it's an interesting one.

alex-ness said...