Action Comics Weekly #641 (Demon)
“Welcome to Hell”
Writer – Alan Grant
Pencils – Mark Pacella
Inks – Bill Wray
Letters – John Costanza
Colors – Tatjana Wood
Editor – Dan Raspler
Today we begin… the final week of the anthology. Friggin’ nuts. Check out that cover… Superman stopping a train from running off the tracks. Gotta wonder if there’s a deeper meaning to that? I suppose there’s a deeper meaning to everything if you look hard enough…
Let’s hit it and git it with the Demon!
We open at the stone circle site where Morgan LeFay had entombed Etrigan last week. Before she can, I dunno, land the “killing blow” Jason Blood hurls her own severed hand at her… and it actually sorta-kinda slaps her across her own face! Heckuva toss! Jason lunges toward her, but is shooed away with ease. This opens up the opportunity for Etrigan to reveal he was “playing possum”. The Demon tackles LeFay, before burning her to a crisp. This is all being viewed by that creepy bastard (Asteroth) who is holding Merlin captive, while his manservant bathes him… with a pointy rod.
After being squeaky-cleanified, the creep heads off to bother Merlin some more. We learn that he’s planning to conduct something called a “Five-Way Blood Sacrifice”. I think the last time I read a five-way ritual, Norman Osborn came out of it thinking he was Spider-Man or something. Bad times…
Back topside, Etrigan and Jason Blood have a heart-to-heart. Jason learns that Asteroth is behind all the hijinks, and that Glenda and Randu are being used as pawns in whatever ritual he’s got planned.
Back in the Wookey Hole, Glenda and Randu head down a flight of stairs leading to a pool of suffering souls. They reach out, begging for help. Glenda, proving herself to be a complete fool, extends a hand…
After we see her and Randu get sucked into Hell, we shift scenes topside. Jason Blood gets a ride outta Tintagel, and winds up sitting in a field naked as a jaybird. He conducts a ritual of his own (getch’r minds outta the gutter), and if I’m guessing right, sends himself to Hell in order to help his pals.
We wrap up with Asteroth preparing for his Five-Way Blood dealie, and the promise that this story will………….. be continued? Da hale? I thought this was the end?
What a let-down… not that I was expecting all that much out of this, I tell ya one thing I was hoping for: an ending! I mean, c’mon… this is kind of a slap in the face, we’ve been following this dull storyline for six weeks at this point, you can’t even give us an ending? Was it a space issue? If so, did we really need that entire chapter of Glenda trying to pass the friggin’ Philosopher’s Stone through Customs?! C’mahnnnn.
In case you’re curious, this storyline is continued in the Demon ongoing series that would launch over a year later. I’m sure everybody picking up a shiny new #1 issue in 1990 was keen to rush into the bins to pick up Action Comics Weekly to catch up! More likely, they explained away the entire build in a page and a half.
Not much more to say… after all this Morgan LeFay build, she’s taken out without any fanfare… this Asteroth guy continues to be uninteresting. Really, a most unspectacular way to begin our final anthology issue! Oh well, at least it’s over… for me anyway, I have no interest in seeing where this is (eventually) headed.
Tomorrow: Hopefully an actual ending for Phantom Lady!