Action Comics Weekly #636 (Demon)
Writer – Alan Grant
Pencils – Mark Pacella
Inks – Bill Wray
Letters – John Costanza
Colors – Tatjana Wood
Editor – Dan Raspler
You know how I’ll sometimes joke about there being three characters I really couldn’t care less about? The Spectre, and our ACW pals Phantom Stranger and Deadman? Is it too late to add a fourth?
We open with… well, a page of sorta difficult to read text. It just lays down some foundational information about Etrigan… the story proper begins with Jason Blood getting a phone call from a frantic woman hoping he might be able to help out with her possessed son. Blood tells he that he no longer practices Demonology… and we find out this isn’t the first time he’s had to explain this to her. A woman named Glenda enters the room… far as I know, she’s a regular cast member for the Demon. Whatever the case, she insists upon Jason that he help this woman out… and so, after a bit of prompting, he does.
We get a bit of information as to why Jason Blood no longer deals with the demons… something about having lost somebody, and this fella named Randu being blinded. There are no footnotes, so I haven’t the foggiest if/when any of that occurred. Anyhoo, he arrives at the possessed boys’ home, and draws a Star of Saint Michael on the wall before beginning his ritual. The boy begins vomiting… which is pretty much what we’ve all come to expect from an exorcism.
From that vomit, rises a gargoyle-looking critter… and this thing is ticked off. At that very moment back at Blood’s place, Randu begins freaking out… prompting Glenda to reach for the Philosopher’s Stone. I don’t know what any of this means…
In the stone, an image forms… the image of, Morgaine Le Fey! I–I don’t know who that is, but the very sound of it nearly puts me to sleep. Maybe I’m being unfair. Anyhoo, at this very moment Jason Blood summons forth Etrigan the Demon… who’s looking quite a bit “beefier” than I remember.
Etrigan incinerates (and eats) the Gargoyle… before setting his sights on the young boy. We wrap up with Etrigan referring to himself as that boy’s Uncle?!
Okay, this really wasn’t bad at all! Ya know, just like Superman… I’ve got a weakness to magic and the supernatural, so anytime a character like Etrigan pops up, I just immediately glaze over. But… this one was alright!
I am quite ignorant of the Demon, his cast, and his trappings… so, all of the references went over my head. Thankfully, being overly knowledgeable about the fella wasn’t really a requirement. Sure, had I known, it might have been a more satisfying read… but, I feel like not knowing didn’t really hurt the way I received this.
I’m not sure what a Morgaine Le Fey is… but, doesn’t Scarlet Witch have one’a her too over in Marvel? Seems like the sort of character that leads to several months of very boring-to-me stories. Guess we’re about to find out!
Overall, I kinda dug this… and feel it was a strong opening chapter. Art was strong and suited the tone… I guess I can say I’m cautiously optimistic about this feature!
Tomorrow: The Penultimate Phantoming…