Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Demon: Hell is Earth #3 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Under New Management

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: January 24, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

 I’ve never been to Death Valley. The only connection I have to the location is having read an old Mickey Mouse comic—probably titled “Mickey Mouse and Death Valley”—that was something about inheriting a ranch, and rustlers, and maybe a ghost or some such…thinking about it now, the story might have involved Donald Duck. I do remember one comment, though: that Death Valley is “120 degrees in the shade—and there is no shade!” And that was before Hell’s nuclear missile set the place ablaze! Let’s see how it’s doing in my review of The Demon: Hell is Earth #3, commencing!


Explain It!

What do you think you should expect from a title like “Hell is Earth?” It’s not “Hell on Earth,” or “Earth is Hell,” but a specific that our planet, known colloquially as Earth, is to be subsumed by Hell. And what do ya know? That’s exactly the plan as begun by the infernal Satan-infused nuclear missile that hit Death Valley a couple of issues ago. The giant black dome left in its wake, within which is a burning Hellscape, is growing, and turning people into were-demons as it goes. Left unchecked, it will surely expand across the globe and probably improve certain places like Camden, New Jersey.
To stand against this threat, since the world’s conventional armies are useless, is Jason Blood, the wizard Merlin, Madame Xanadu, and Merlin’s brother Etrigan, who (besides having an axe to grind against his sibling anyway) seems disinterested in whatever way the brimstone-laced wind blows. But there’s an extra wrinkle here for which Merlin did not account: the charge is being led not by Lucifer, but by Belial! Which is way worse for some reason.
At the halfway point, we get a big ol’ chunk of information, as well as some stakes to hang our hats upon, but I’m still a little confused as to how Etrigan’s power has changed now that he can be haunted by Jason Blood (as he used to do to Jason.) Looks like he’s more powerful, for some reason? There was also a pretty cool exchange between Etrigan and the leader of a demon army that I didn’t get into, but it worth seeing. I am a little curious as to why the Justice League, or some other superheroes, haven’t shown up to this yet, but there are three more issues to go. Each issue of this series feels very dense and convoluted, but the story is actually a lot simpler than is seems at first glance. I think some of that is owed to the glorious art, which is well worth the cover price alone.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue explains a lot of what's been going on, as well as introducing the Big Bad of the series, and it looks spectacular. On reflection, however, it isn't story progression as much as it is a big infodump. Well, that's better than not knowing what's going on, I suppose.

7/10
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