Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Demon: Hell is Earth #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

Beguiled By Belial

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: March 28, 2018


I probably could be convinced that the Earth proper ended several years ago, and we’ve been living in Hell ever since. And this series is just the ticket to feed into my nihilism! Let’s top up our defeated tanks and read my review of The Demon: Hell is Earth #5, commencing now!

Explain It!

Plotting the highs and lows of any story can be a difficult endeavor. To be sure, charting the emotional beats of a story and writing decent dialogue are two of the greatest pitfalls in creative writing. Luckily, six-issue miniseries, while constraining the length of a story, provide the framework necessary to plot your tale as you wish. Conventional wisdom would be to break six issues into a three-act structure, with heavy cliffhangers after issues #2 and #4 to invigorate the reader. Typically, issue #5 will also have a big cliffhanger, one that is more dire than previous teases, which makes the conclusion look impossible or improbable. But that’s just conventional wisdom; writing is a creative pursuit, and so an author is right to employ whatever sequencing they think is best.
What we have in The Demon: Hell is Earth, apparently, is two or three issues of story stretched out over six issues. We’ve already had two issues of the Etrigan Gang walking to the rift from whence Hell spews into the Grand Canyon and threatened to consume the Earth. At the end of the last issue, they made it to the ethereal tear. And in this issue…they just sort of hang around the outside of it, fighting some light demons without actually entering Hell to confront Belial and end this calamity. And that’s really it. There is some good action, and Merlin teases that there may be a way to defeat Belial even after he manifests on Earth, but for the most part this issue feels like a placeholder. And being that it’s the penultimate issue of a limited series, that’s a bad look. The issue ends with Belial capturing Merlin so he has enough magic to do his bad stuff, which was his nefarious plan all along.
I love Etrigan. And I am absolutely delighted by the artwork in this series. But this issue really felt like a slap in the face. Of course I would continue to the last issue, it is senseless to go this far and just fade away from the series’ ending. Yet I am certainly a bit deflated about the story in general, and more than a little bored. Which, come to think of it, is more likely what Hell on Earth would be like, instead of a fiery hellscape of death and torture. So when it comes to the demonic afterlife, don’t worry about avoiding it: you’re already here!

Bits and Pieces:

After a couple of issues of interminable walking, we now get an issue of standing around. I don't know why this story got six issues, it seems containable within three. This book is very striking visually, but I'm afraid the brightly-burning flame of its narrative is all but snuffed out.


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