365 Reasons to Love Comics #349
Yesterday’s post is down below. Today’s featured Kirby series is one hell of a good time. (Archive!)
349. The Demon
“Gone, gone, the form of man! Rise the Demon… Etrigan!” The Demon was a series Jack Kirby launched among his second wave of DC titles, after the demise of the Fourth World. This one outlived some of its fellows and made it to 16 Kirbyrrific issues!
The Demon was the story of Etrigan, a demon summoned by Merlin to aid Camelot in the fight against Morgaine le Fey, and transformed into a human named Jason Blood to wait out the years until he was summoned again. In the present day, Jason Blood teamed up with pals Harry Matthews, Glenda Mark, and Randu Singh, the psychic (yes!) to battle mystical threats and the like. When summoned, the Demon does the same, in his own inimitable fashion.
There were some outstanding menaces, as well. The most popular of all is probably Klarion the Witch Boy, but let’s not forget the stand-in for the Phantom of the Opera, or the world’s best-named villain– Baron von Evilstein!
Befitting Kirby, it was a big, crazy comic, a sweeping adventure with tinges of Arthurian fantasy, gothic horror, and old monster movies. While it’s not one of my favorite Kirby series, it was still a relentlessly exciting book.
(I love how the word balloon tilts along with the “camera” in the third panel of that last page there. Great shot.)
The Demon would not die to cancellation, however, and reappeared in various places over the years, as well as gaining the usual characteristic of rhyming speech. Even Alan Moore used him in his famed Swamp Thing run. Later, the Demon received his own series once more: first a mini by Matt Wagner, and then an ongoing, this one lasting five years and including runs by Alan Grant and Garth Ennis. The most recent revival has been under the pen of John Byrne– it lasted one issue longer than Kirby’s original.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Demon undergoes some kind of Omnibus treatment in the future. At the very least, it deserves a couple trades! Bring us the full crackling fury of the mighty Jack Kirby, DC!
At least two more days of Kirby greatness await us, my friends! Yeah!