Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"The End" Week: Blue Devil #31!


On previous "The End" posts we've mentioned that if you're a mid-list DC character, you may have a rich supporting cast--for as long as you have your own book. When that's done, they'll never be seen again. I was going to say the same of this issue, but no, I think I was proven wrong! From 1986, Blue Devil #31, "Hell's Angel" Written by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn and Bob Rozakis, art by Dan Jurgens and Gary Martin and Bob Orzechowski and Dave Hunt.

Danny Cassidy's friends throw the Blue Devil a birthday party, which leads to them all being sent to hell, because of course it does. This was pretty much the kind of thing that always happened around "weirdness magnet" Cassidy, but this time it's caused by Lucifer! No, not that one: he was a failing actor, typecast as playing the bad guy and loving it, who decides to become a genuine super-villain. Even without powers, abilities, skills, or timing: Lucifer decides to kill the Blue Devil rather spur of the moment, and at the height of his popularity, just after his movie had won an Academy Award for special effects! (A quick aside: in the DC universe, the Blue Devil movie probably came out in '86 or '87. The Oscar for special effects went to Aliens in 1986, Innerspace in 1987...so I'm guessing it came out in 1987. Cassidy was a special effects wizard, but he was no Stan Winston!)

After that loss, Lucifer's return engagement involves stealing a mystic book from Madame Xanadu and sending Cassidy and his friends to their own personal hells. For instance, Cassidy's producer, Marla Bloom, is doomed to return to obscurity in her hometown, Syracuse; and his sidekick Kid Devil gets his wish of being promoted to hero but doesn't feel like he can hack it. Lucifer assumes Cassidy's spirit should be crushed, but...

Lucifer is defeated and damned to hell, while everyone else escapes safe and sound, even if most of them probably wouldn't ever be seen again. Ah, but Kid Devil beat the odds, and would return years later in Young Justice and Teen Titans. I'm pretty sure horrible things happened to him in Teen Titans, but DC seemed bound and determined to make Blue Devil as grimdark as they could, why not his sidekick too...

3 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Hmm. Might pick this up if I see it. I know he's considered out-dated and old hat now, but I like early Dan Jurgens art. It just seemed so different, but a good different. While Brett Breeding well always be the guy to ink him the best, I liked his JL run with Rick Butchett too. Gave it a nice darker edge to his style.

googum said...

Jurgens did a bit on Captain America that wasn't too bad. Weird to see him at Marvel, though.

Dale Bagwell said...

It definitely was. He did Sensational Spider-Man first, and that really looked weird. Didn't last long due to problems he was having with editorial and certain promises not being kept.