Thursday, December 30, 2010

"The End" Week: Blood of the Demon #17!

I don't mention him often, but I usually enjoy John Byrne's work. Sometimes he seems a bit crabby, but then again, maybe he has reason to be. In recent years, Byrne did a few books for DC Comics: Doom Patrol, which has since been retconned. The All-New Atom, who has since been killed. And Blood of the Demon, which wasn't just retconned, it looks like Byrne pushed the button himself.

The story opens with a sunglasses-wearing, and oddly similar, couple in a diner, trying to put together recent events. Specifically, what Etrigan had done to them. And they start with three Etrigans: the original, one from the past possessed by the Lord of the Damned, and the spirit of the past version of Etrigan stuck in the body of said Lord. As the Demon's human allies Harry Matthews (who, I believe was turned by devils into a sentient seat cushion at one point, but has since gotten better) and inspector Jakob Kurtzberg (dur, Jack Kirby, the Demon's creator) watch, the three Etrigans have it out. After the Lord knocks out his old body, the 'good' version, our hero, stabs and kills 'himself.' The Etrigan in the Lord's body then begins to go power-mad, but burns himself out, still linked to the Lord's mind.

But the burnout catches the tower on fire, and Etrigan grabs his friends and runs, lamenting "how I wish you humans were less vulnerable to a few mere flames!" After their escape, however, the Demon fades and disappears.

Meanwhile, in Gotham City, the Demon's old friends Randu and Anjeli Singh are confronted by the mysterious sunglasses couple. They want to grant Anjeli's wish, but Randu warns of the consequences. Anjeli is a step ahead of them all, however: her wish brought the Demon there. Etrigan recognizes the couple as 'Wishmongers,' and forces them to grant his wish: Matthews and the Singhs are restored and made happy, in lives without Etrigan. Jason Blood is once again a paranormal investigator, but "ignorant of his own demonic legacy." And all of the toys...are back in their boxes.

The Wishmongers aren't quite as deus ex machina as they sound here: they had been causing trouble for a few issues prior, and the wishes came at the traditional terrible cost or whatever. Eh, still not as dumb an explanation as Superboy-punch.

From Blood of the Demon #17, "I Wish I Might..." Plot and pencils by John Byrne, script by Will Pfeifer, inks by Dan Green.


SUBZERO said...

I read the entire series ( as well as the DOOM PATROL he did ) and found it quite entertaining and fun.....which you don´t find too often in comics nowadays.

Sadly I don´t have the money to read all of his new work on STAR TREK or ANGEL but I got the FX trade ( which is great as a present for younger readers ) and now that he´s continuing NEXT MEN there´ll be more john Byrne in my reading pile.

googum said...

Actually, I liked Byrne's Doom Patrol too, except for the mask he went with for Negative Man...I don't know if I liked it as much as Arcudi's, and not as much as Giffen's, but still.

I think I got both runs from the quarter bins, though.