"The Demon: Hell is Earth #3" 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 January 24th, 2018
When we last left Etrigan, he was setting a little girl on fire. That's one helluva way to end an issue. Of course, all is not what it seems and the girl is revealed as Merlin, an on-again / off-again foe of Jason Blood and the Demon. Now they're forced to work together to combat the forces of Hell itself as an army of demons is preparing to invade our world. That is, if they can avoid killing each other first.
I am continually impressed with Brad Walker's intricately detailed artwork. Just look at Merlin's beard and all the fine lines that come together to form it. You can almost count the hairs on his chinny chin chin. This attention to detail pays off in the insane scenes of demonic carnage that fill this comic. There are some crazy monsters spewing forth from the underworld. Our first glimpse of them comes with a hulking red demon with literal fire for hair, riding a horse that might be made of smoke, but its legs end in bloody, skeletal stumps. It's like the cover art for the most awesome metal album ever.
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We meet a few folks from Etrigan's family tree, who all seem to be fighting for control of Hell. Each one appears to be made of muscle, fire, and pure terror; Etrigan included. The real treat comes towards the end of this issue where the Demon leaps into battle in an impressive display of gore and violence. At one point, he's holding in one hand a spine covered in bloody sinew with a head still attached while literally punching through someone else with the other, all the while he's breathing fire. I take back my previous statement. This is the cover art for the most awesome metal album ever.
Overall, The Demon: Hell is Earth has a dreary look to it, as Death Valley has turned into an apocalyptic hellscape. It's constantly lit by fire though, which brightens up most of the scenes. Colorist Chris Sotomayor does a great job with these effects, to the point where you can practically feel the heat coming off of the page.
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All of this bloodshed is balanced by occasional doses of comic relief. I love that the characters poke fun at Etrigan's rhyming. I've mentioned this in reviews for previous issues, but this has always been something that bothered me about the character. I'm glad that it's being addressed here, like everyone is admitting that it's a bit silly.
The Demon: Hell is Earth #3 reveals who was behind the supernatural bomb that was dropped on Death Valley. It's a pretty big deal, as it's opened up a portal from Hell itself for an invasion. There's this unlikely team of Etrigan, Madame Xanadu, Merlin, and a non-corporeal Jason Blood and they're all that stand in the way of an army from Hell running rampant in our world. Granted, this is the same world where Superman and a number of assorted super heroes call home, so they'd have some backup if they failed.
The Demon: Hell is Earth greatly expands with this issue, as it pulls back the curtain for some nice reveals. It's clearly building up to something even bigger. I cannot imagine what the next battle will look like. There is going to be so much blood and fire spewing every which way. Etrigan is pissed and he's going to take out his anger on all the forces of Hell. I'm not sure which side is favored to win in this one.