The Demon #0
DC Comics (October, 1994)
WRITER: Garth Ennis
ARTIST: John McCrea
COLORIST: Stu Chaifetz
LETTERER: Willie Schubert
EDITOR: Peter Tomasi
CONCEPT CREATOR: Jack Kirby
Jason Blood insist Merlin help him recover his lost memories. What he learns is how a vengeful Merlin, angry that a young Jason didn’t care about the fall of Camelot and the taunting of Etrigan, bound the two by the soul. So Etrigan manipulated Jason into murdering his own family and committing other terrible acts through the centuries, even being best buddies with Lucifer. Now with his memories clear again, Jason demands Merlin help him kill Etrigan once and for all.
I have always had a problem with the characters of Jason and Etrigan, especially recently where in kid-friendly or kid-targeted media the Demon has been treated as a superhero and member of the Justice League, or at least friends with Batman. Certainly my spiritual beliefs as a Christian play a lot into that, but nothing I’ve seen in this comic says he’s ever join the good guys. If he fought a villainous spirit it would be because he didn’t like him/her, not because of any virtue. I just find this whole concept disturbing, from Merlin binding the demon to Jason out of spite to just everything about the character. I’ve ignored whole issues of comics because this character is in it. I’m even more inclined to now that I see some of the things Etrigan did and I’m supposed to accept as a “hero” in shows like the current Justice League Action.
That said, I have some other issues with the story. The art is hit or miss (granted more hits than misses but still plenty of misses), there’s one panel where Jason says he’ll stop the Nazi bomber blimps and actually says “hold my glass”, which just makes me think of the “hold my beer” meme, and again there is nothing redeemable about Etrigan. I find myself hoping Jason does succeed in killing him but I know he won’t because the character is still around long after this.
As far as any recommendation, my spiritual beliefs make it impossible for me to recommend and as just a critic I’m not inclined to recommend it either. This is the very definition of “not for me” and I’m sorry I own this comic, outside of warning me about this character’s true nature compared to how he’s appeared in the DCAU onward. Kirby, I love your work but this was just not a good idea.