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Blood of the Demon #17

Posted: Saturday, July 8, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"I wish I might..."

Writers: John Byrne and Will Pfeifer
Artists: John Byrne(p), Dan Green(i), Alex Bleyeart(c)
Publisher: DC

The final issue of Blood of the Demon once again shows Byrne in terms of art and story at his best. The finale settles once and for all which Demon will be left standing.

Merlin in another chapter reconstituted the Demon. Belial possessed the past version of the Demon while simultaneously operating his own grotesque form. Who will live? Who will die? Find out in this issue.

The idea of the Demon being anything but a champion is pure post-Crisis tomfoolery. The original Jack Kirby Etrigan was noble and valiant in his defense of the good and just. Byrne cleverly brings everything back to the status quo. He leaves a clean slate for the next author to examine the phrase "Yarva Demonicus Etrigan." He carries out the task with style and substance.

Byrne takes the full liberties afforded to him by magic. The villains of the piece, or perhaps mischief-makers would be more apt a description, get a name, spat contemptuously by the Demon. Byrne's own characters suffer outrageous consequences and as well eschew the ramifications that Byrne created. I don't want to give too much away. Suffice to say, you'll be tickled by Byrne's almost whimsical application of spells and sorcery.

Despite unleashing limbs and grue in the panels, Byrne makes his final issue of Blood of the Demon his lightest. The tone is very much in keeping with a dark comedy, and Etrigan his own badself turns out to have the greatest sense of humor.



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