I've always liked Jack Kirby's creation, The Demon. It was a unique addition to his hall of creations which were comprised mostly of sci-fi and extraterrestrial inspired beings like The Eternals and Inhumans (whom he co-created). The Demon Etrigan was different because he was a supernatural being and came into existence into the DCU through magical means. Still, Kirby, in The Demon's earliest adventures, managed to weave his love of history and lore into the character's exploits. Rarely though has there been a writer who carried on Etrigan's tales whom managed to skillfully wave into Etrigan, and his alter ego Jason Blood's, tales a sci-fi aspect that meshed comfortably with the supernatural ones. The Demon: Hell Is Earth's writer Andrew Constant is the first, to my recollection at least, to do so here in the first issue of Etrigan's latest appearance in the DCU.
Jason Blood is living in Death Valley and is haunted by dreams of death and destruction. Something is about to happen, but he's too busy battling Etrigan, who is trying to get loose from Jason's psyche, to pin it down. When a nuclear bomb explodes in the desert near where Jason is staying, forces are unleashed that will take the combined might of Jason and Etrigan to overcome. Jason has allies though, and one in particular, is near by and will prove a formidable ally.
I don't know if Constant watched the recent David Lynch reprise of Twin Peaks, and it's series defining 8th episode which insinuated that unspeakable evil was born into the world through the atomic testing of the 1950s, but the idea is a striking one and Constant, whether influenced or not, uses the metaphor of a nuclear explosion here as a catalyst for the opening of a literal Hell on Earth. It's a smart fusion of sci-fi and metaphysical/supernatural storytelling and allegory and it sets the stage brilliantly for the rest of the tale.
Artist Brad Walker brings Constant's stage setting tale to live with the perfect balance between the mundane and the supernatural world with brilliant, panel filling detail. His demonic entities exist perfectly, and believably alongside his military generals and ICBMs. His vision of Etrigan is perfect and is possessed of all the qualities that make the character unique and, dare I say it, as lovable as he was when Kirby first introduced him. Etrigan has a more traditional look here and is not bogged down by all the medieval armor and such when we saw him at the outset of the New 52.
I've been a fan of The Demon since I began reading comics. He always frightened me a little, but intrigued me at the same time. In Constant and Walker's capable hands, this Demon fan has found yet another new series, even if it is only a 6 issue one, to be excited over.