Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Demon: Hell is Earth #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Say You, Say Me

Writer: Andrew Constant 
Penciller: Brad Walker 
Inker: Andrew Hennessy 
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor 
Letterer: Tom Napolitano 
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, Lee Loughridge 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: November 22, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

I did a spoiler-free shorter review for this last week, but now that it’s on sale I can spoil the crap out of this comic book! And I intend to do so, in my review of Etrigan: Hell is Earth #1, right here!


Explain It!

The Faustian Bargain is one of the most-used literary devices, preceding Goethe’s Faust by a very wide margin. It’s a moral lesson, of course, that easy fortune exacts a painful personal price. But it’s also a cautionary tale about gambling, that one should be wary of gaming because of the potential loss—but this also implies potentially winning. So through centuries of story, mortal men have endeavored to trick or cheat the devil, nearly always with abominable results. But what if a bargain is struck between two demons? Where are the odds stacked, in this instance?
Jason Blood never made a deal with the devil, indeed he was a hapless peasant swept up in the whims of the wizard Merlin, when he was bound to trade places with Etrigan the Demon many hundreds of years ago. But a bargain had still been struck, one that was skewed to the infernal side of the scale, which allowed Etrigan to taunt Jason and force himself into the world by way of a rhymed chant that causes the Yellow Beast to emerge his carnage. For this reason, Jason Blood relocated to a remote cabin in Death Valley, untouched by civilization and free from humanity’s hordes that might be injured by Etrigan’s evil tendencies. There are yet forces, however, that would see Etrigan rise. Etrigan himself, for one.
As Madame Xanadu is riding her motorbike looking for Jason, and a vacationing family closes in on Jason’s position, a military general directed by Satan fires a nuclear missile right into Death Valley, exploding in a massive and decidedly demonic-looking mushroom cloud. To escape the roiling flotsam emanating from the cloud, Etrigan exhorts Jason to make the switch, and he does! Just in time for Etrigan to save the little girl from the rest of her family, who have inexplicably turned to monsters. Something funny in that nuclear bomb, it seems—because it’s also allowed Jason Blood something formerly only allowed Etrigan! Now it seems that Jason Blood can haunt Etrigan and act as his conscience!
This is the big change I noticed, which should be interesting to long-time fans of the character. Another nice touch was showing Etrigan rhyming only in “public,” when speaking to/hectoring Jason directly, he speaks like a normal medieval weirdo. This makes sense to me, and having Jason interact with Etrigan is a nice touch that should help develop the character, whose motives and mores are largely a mystery despite being in perpetual use for forty years. The stars of this show are the art team, who deliver a meticulously-plotted and hyper-detailed visual horn of plenty, something that evokes classic horror comics while maintaining the brightly-colored action of mainstream comic books. Keep your eyes on this miniseries, it may not be the Faustain bargain you presumed.


Bits and Pieces:

A big change to the relationship between Jason Blood and Etrigan sets this miniseries on a intriguing course that leads to anticipating the next issue with gusto. The visuals in this book are spectacular and well worth the cover price alone. Fans of this character will not want to miss this miniseries.

8/10
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