"The Demon: Hell is Earth #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Andrew Constant
Illustrated by Brad Walker
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 28th, 2018
Etrigan the Demon, Jason Blood, Merlin, and Xanadu are making their way through the Hellscape that was once Death Valley. That sounds like the setup of a lame DC Universe joke, but it's the farthest thing from the truth once you see what they're dealing with. They know what caused this demonic madness and have to stop it before it spreads further, bringing all manner of horrors up from the bowels of Hell. That is, if they can stay alive long enough to make it there. Plus, they have to try not to kill each other. That will help.
The Demon: Hell is Earth has been a crazy ride with all sorts of terrifying monsters. This issue expands that a bit more. We've seen humans transformed by the supernatural bomb that was dropped in the desert. Here we see how it affected animals, specifically snakes and lizards. Etrigan battles a huge mutated fire-breathing snake. That right there is a sentence I can only really type when I'm writing about comics.
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This creature is horrifying, towering above our would-be heroes. It's covered in spikes and its massive fangs look ready to tear apart anyone that comes close. Oh, and I already said it's breathing fire, right? Normal people would take a second to think about their approach. Etrigan is not a normal person. He's a powerful demon that's been let loose on Earth. He literally leaps into battle, tearing through the snake and then eats its remains. Artist Brad Walker brings this all to life in exquisite detail.
Etrigan is like an animal. He's unleashed and reveling in the newfound freedom. It helps that Death Valley is full of supernatural terrors, so he is in his element and doesn't have to hold back at all. There's a touch of child-like excitement at being able to do almost anything he wants in this world.
We get a peek into his mindset as Merlin probes the demon for answers. This mirrors a conversation Xanadu has with Etrigan's other half, Jason Blood. The two have been connected for ages and it seems that pieces of them have bled into one another. Blood's humanity and inherent good nature have seeped into Etrigan, making him a pariah of sorts in Hell. Other demons can smell the human stink on him and keep their distance.
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While The Demon: Hell is Earth is packed with all kinds of monsters and incredible battles, it's the relationship between Etrigan and Jason Blood that has been the real driver of the story. These two beings have carried on this uneasy relationship for so long and despite a deep urge to sever it, they realize the value that it brings. In a weird way, they force each other to be better, which is saying something considering one of them is a literal demon.
The Demon: Hell is Earth is an otherworldly road trip through a hellish landscape. Sure, outside of this fire and brimstone-filled bubble, Superman and the Justice League are flying around, but within it, frightening monsters rule and only Etrigan and his unlikely allies are prepared to put them down. This hero has a cape, but he also has a set of horns and spits fire.