Having interviewed Brad Walker and Andrew Constant I was even more intrigued by what they’d be doing with The Demon: Hell is Earth, be it the Kirby influences, or the more adult approach to the story. Etrigan is a character that has been written well here and there, but never been given his due in a solid solo series. Until now?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Jason Blood and Etrigan: the best of enemies, destined to spend eternity bound together. When a haunting vision leads Jason to Death Valley, a supernatural weapon is unleashed, radically transforming not only the land, but also Blood…and the Demon. The worst, though, is yet to come, as hell begins to make its way into our world.
Why does this matter?
This series aims to flip the script so to speak as we’ll see Etrigan haunt Jason Blood until Hell arrives. Expect a Vertigo feel to this series even though it’s set in the DCU.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens perfectly with Etrigan touching a little girl’s face and watching her burn. As Jason Blood awakens we learn it’s a nightmare, but unfortunately for him living with Etrigan inside him is making every day a nightmare. As the story progresses Constant introduces two B-plots that suggest there is more going on and that Madame Xanadu is on Blood’s tail. It’s a fast-moving read for sure, but these B-plots add a significant amount of intrigue so that you’ll want to see where the story goes next.
Blood and Etrigan get plenty of page time (they’re the main character of course) and the issue ends with a hell of a cliffhanger. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but it effectively changes the game for these two characters and I’m excited to see how Constant will play with the Etrigan/Blood dynamic moving forward.
Walker does a great with this issue, from the disturbing first page with the child to a massive explosion later in the issue. To be honest, his lines look far different than his recent Aquaman work as here has a gritty look that’s realistic and very good at choreographing action. Xanadu’s entrance, for example, is incredibly cinematic and the choice of angles as the scene progresses helps enhance her badass character.
I think you drank too much.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Aside from learning Jason Blood is a heavy drinker and living with Etrigan is ruining his life it’s unclear what he’s been up to until now. If you’re looking for how this character fits into the DCU currently you’ll also be a bit disappointed. This is a solo series to be sure and the wider picture is yet to be revealed.
Is It Good?
This is a great first issue with an edge. The Etrigan and Jason Blood characters are interesting and exhibit a relationship not unlike Hulk and Bruce Banner. The only difference is Etrigan’s home of Hell adds a hell of a lot more intrigue.