Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Demon: Hell is Earth #4 Review and **SPOILERS**


Let Etrigan Be Etrigan

Writer: Andrew Constant 
Penciller: Brad Walker 
Inker: Andrew Hennessy 
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor 
Letterer: Tom Napolitano 
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, Chris Sotomayor 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: February 28, 2018


Now that Etrigan and the crew know who is to blame for this Hellish incursion in Death Valley, they’ve got to go knock him for a demonic loop—and that’s just what they’re on the way to do! Check it out in my review of The Demon: Hell is Earth #4, right here!

Explain It!

The gang is forging their way along the ever-expanding hellscape that was once Death Valley, on their way to meet the source of these hot woes, Belial. And I’m not kidding about it being ever-expanding: the team walks for days, Madame Xanadu even getting woozy from thirst while trying to navigate this demon’s whim. While Etrigan chows down on some monster snake that he killed for a requisite action scene, Xanadu and Jason talk about…their relationship in Demon Knights. Partly. And while it’s been referred to before in this series, I didn’t expect it to be addressed head-on.
More to the point, Jason explains that in his new guise as Etrigan’s hectoring influence, he can only walk about 100 feet away before he snaps back. Also, he regrets having loosed him upon the world because he cannot control him, which is why he claims to have left him in Hell lo these centuries past. Which is not how I remember it, he’s always had to swap places with the yellow rhyming Demon since the beginning. But for the purposes of this narrative, we can pretend those all happened more “recently.”
Xanadu points out that Jason can control Etrigan, by appealing to his baser instincts and pissing him off. This makes him more of a fire-breathing Hulk, which is not a terrible thing to be in comic books when you think about it. After firing Etrigan up enough that he burns the hell out of the carcass of the giant snake he murdered, the team makes it to the rift from which Hell effuses, and see that it has…oh, looks like a bunch of misbegotten souls being whipped by demons, or something. We’re far away from their vantage point, so it’s difficult to tell.
This is the first time this miniseries has seemed a little confused to me, though I suppose the new development of Jason being able to annoy Etrigan effectively is something. I did like seeing the reference to Jason and Xanadu’s relationship in Demon Knights, because I loved that series and enjoy the idea that it’s still in continuity. Still, Jason’s implication that he’s kept Etrigan under wraps since the band broke up shatters that sense of continuity, so it’s a wash. This is a great-looking book that should still tickle fans of Etrigan, but this issue is sort of tame compared to the high-paced action and chicanery featured before.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue gives us a chance to take a breather, in the hot, sulphur-infused air of a growing Hell on Earth. And perhaps it's warranted, but it's much more sluggish than previous issues. A new development in the relationship between Jason and Etrigan may make it worthwhile.

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