"The Demon: Hell is Earth #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Andrew Constant
Illustrated by Brad Walker
Colored by Chris Sotomayor
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 27th, 2017
A supernatural bomb has been detonated on Death Valley, turning the area into a hell zone. Jason Blood has called forth Etrigan to survive this mess, only to find himself haunting the Demon as an incorporeal specter. The roles were reversed not too long ago as Etrigan was taunting Blood like a twisted conscience. The duo finds a little girl in this barren, fire-filled wasteland who is somehow unharmed by the blast. She exhibits psychic abilities and points them to their old frenemy Madame Xanadu.
If you've ever wondered what Hell looks like, feast your eyes on The Demon: Hell is Earth #2. Artist Brad Walker creates a harsh landscape filled with lightning, fire, and death. The ground itself rises up as if to attack, creating demonic hands ready to strangle anyone unlucky enough to get too close. The hotel where Madame Xanadu is holed up is like the opposite of every tourist attraction ever made. Large signs that would normally be touting the place's amenities get right to the point with words like “PAIN” and “HATRED.” It looks like it's made of bone, rocks, and teeth.
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The dynamic between Etrigan and Blood makes for an interesting relationship. They've always been two sides of the same coin, never able to really interact with each other. Here we have them both in action, although Blood is like a ghost. Where the Demon once taunted Blood, trying to get the man to summon him forth, now Blood serves as the opposite to Etrigan. He keeps the creature in check, like the good angel conscience to Etrigan's devil. Whenever the Demon might be going too far, Blood reminds him of all the good in the world which serves as a form of torture. This also creates some funny moments where Blood is yelling things like “Butterflies” and “Puppies” to try to reign in the beast.
Etrigan's rhyming, which I've always found annoying, is used sparingly in The Demon: Hell is Earth. This was also the case with the first issue. It seems to only come out when Etrigan is very angry, so it's almost like an accent that he normally hides when he's in control of his actions. This works well here, as the rhyming is mainly occurring during heated battle sequences. It also pops up during the final moments of the issue, which leave us on an incredible cliffhanger.
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While there's a lot to enjoy within the supernatural hell zone, I'm very interested to find out what's going on outside it. It looks like a big black dome surrounding the area. The military is investigating, but can't get too close. Soldiers that have gotten nearby have been turned into bloodthirsty monsters, killing anyone they see.
This is a very cool idea with some very real consequences; however we have to remember that this takes place in the greater DC Universe. It's the same world Superman, Wonder Woman, and two Green Lanterns currently call home. You'd think that at least one or two of them would have shown up to check out what's going on. We're still early in the series, so that might happen anyway. It's just the one thing that always sticks out when DC plays in the horror sandbox.
The Demon: Hell is Earth brings monsters, mayhem, and madness to the DC Universe. It's a reminder that there's a dark underbelly full of fire and brimstone lurking just beneath the surface of this world. Has Etrigan ever met Hellboy? I feel like they'd have a lot to talk about.