Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Demon: Hell is Earth #2 Review and **SPOILERS**


How Do You Do, Xanadu?

Writer: Andrew Constant 
Penciller: Brad Walker 
Inker: Andrew Hennessy 
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor 
Letterer: Tom Napolitano 
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, Lee Loughbridge 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: December 27, 2017


The thing with writing Etrigan the Demon is that, for my money, you can write him rhyming or not, since he was birthed by Jack Kirby as a non-rhymer. But if you do have him using rhymed verse, then you have to make the rhymes dope! It’s just like rap battles. Don’t get involved if you’re not prepared to go the distance. That doesn’t necessarily apply to this book, but there are plenty of people who have written Etrigan in the past that biffed entire rhyme schemes. Does that happen in Demon: Hell is Earth #2? You’ll have to read my review to find out!

Explain It!

Now that Satan’s nuclear missile has wrought Hell on Earth and turned Death Valley into a fiery maelstrom, Etrigan is pretty happy. Not as happy as he could be, mind you, considering that the nuke somehow made it so that he is haunted by his Earthly counterpart Jason Blood’s conscience just as Jason is haunted by Etrigan, but he’s still definitely in his element. The whole area is infused with evil, even the scientists looking to take reading from within the ominous black dome surrounding the area frenzy and start killing each other. The only thing sticking in Etrigan’s craw—again, aside from the unkillable Jason Blood that keeps breaking his demonic balls—is the existence of a little girl within this radioactive Hades that seems none worse the wear from having a nuke dropped on her. She’s wearing checkerboard Vans, so maybe she’s got the chill attitude of Jeff Spicoli on her side. Somehow she can see Jason in his ethereal form, and when asked tells him that her name is Madame Xanadu.
You remember Madame Xanadu! She’s the expendable magician whenever they all have to get together to thwart some otherworldly funk. She was also sweet on Jason Blood during Demon Knights, which I think will prove to be her connection to this book. In any case, just as soon as she says she’s Madame Xanadu, the little girl says her name is Nimue—but she knows where Xanadu is! She’s in Death Valley, and Nimue can take them to her. She’s in some creepy mansion with signs that read DIE and HATRED and PAIN outside, and no sooner do they arrive than three demonic Minotaurs manifest and start tussling with our yellow anti-hero. While he wrangles the giant bull-headed monsters—while rhyming, which seems to be a function in this instance of how much fun he’s having—Jason Blood slips inside the home to find Madame Xanadu threatened by smoke people!
They’re sort of hilarious because they’re all wearing button-down shirts and slacks, but they have a demonic, smoky body beneath. Jason leads them away from Xanadu’s door and right towards Etrigan, who then burns them all with his fiery breath—except for Jason Blood, who is basically a walking ghost. After Xanadu has a hug with Jason, they ask Nimue if she has any swell prophecies for them—and it turns out she does! Hellfires and possessions and evil demons issuing from a fissure in the Earth, the prospect of which is so annoying to Etrigan that he burns her to a skeleton on the spot! Now you had to see that coming.
This is a pretty good issue for Etrigan fans, though it had a little fluff that could have been excised for more immediate information about Xanadu. I am really intrigued by this new status quo where Jason Blood can taunt Etrigan—even forcing him to see butterflies if he gets too evil—and I want to see some more of it, find out where it goes. The story is a little thin, as mentioned, but the artwork is lush and enveloping, and it really helps drag you deeper into the story. I broke out into a sweat, things are looking so hot in every panel! I also might be having a heart attack. In any case, give this book a peep.

Bits and Pieces:

A character we having seen in a while steps into this series, someone who has a deep connection to Jason Blood...and therefore to Etrigan as well. The terrific artwork takes this series to a new level, though I still wouldn't recommend it to people that don't really like Etrigan. For the rest of us that like the Demon, this mini-series may support your reasons!

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