Thursday, October 9, 2014

Demonology #4 - Creature From Beyond!

The fourth issue of Jack Kirby's The Demon pits the crouching hero against two mystic villains, two villains who almost win the day.

The story begins with the Demon battling a hideous scaly beast at the scene of a tragic suicide. The battle and the monster appears to vanish leaving the Demon alone with the body of an old man who hanged himself. Only a tiny little furry white creature remains, unnoticed by the Demon as he leaves.

The Demon then returns to the apartment of Jason Blood and confronts Randu Singh and Harry Matthews, the latter who is terrified of what his friend has become. Randu chants the magic words and Jason Blood returns as Harry faints.

The action turns to a local police station where the chief has taken possession of the small seemingly harmless white creature, but which turns into a hideous red beast scaring the man to death. Then we follow the beast as it rambles along the countryside, leaving dead bodies in its wake.

The scene shifts to Europe where Ugly Meg, a hideous witch tries to use a voodoo doll to control the Demon but fails. She is punished by her master, a man who calls himself the Iron Duke. In Gotham City the white creature finds its way to Jason's apartment and becomes a dragon, the thing which Harry most fears. The Dragon captures Jason and flies away taking him across the sea to confront Ugly Meg and the Iron Duke. Ugly Meg then sends the creature, called a "Kamara", back to the hellish land it came from. Then she summons the Demon who rises and who stands next to Merlin who has suddenly appeared.

This is the first of two parts. Ugly Meg is proves a worthy foe, though the enigmatic Iron Duke seems even more dangerous. The idea that a harmless, even cute creature could the source of so much death and suffering is an interesting twist by Kirby.

Merlin narrated this story, a break in the style Kirby had used to this point. His appearance at the end of the story was a real surprise for me, as I'd thought he was exclusively operating through his Demon in the modern world.

The story picks up in the next issue.

More to come.

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  1. Alan Moore remembered this story when he brought back the Demon in Swamp Thing.

    And what a great dramatic ending, when the villains realize the danger in what they have dared to conjure.

    1. The menace of the Demon is revealed in those moments. He's a doughty foe indeed.

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