Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Demonology Extra - The Brave And The Demonic!
During the original run of Jack Kirby's The Demon, Jason Blood and his demonic alter ego made only guest-starring appearance that I'm aware of, in the pages of The Brave and the Bold #109. That makes perfect sense since the Demon was set in Gotham City, the fabled home base of Brave and Bold's star The Batman.
Written by Bob Haney and drawn by Jim Aparo, the story begins with a bang when a molten murderer rises out of the river at a bridge construction site and viciously attacks and murders a tug boat captain. Later the creature murders a purser on a docked cruise ship.Called into the case Batman ruminates with Commissioner Gordon and neither can find any real motive to the savage slayings.
Meanwhile Jason Blood, alias the Demon entertains Glenda Mark who at this time is still unaware of Jason's dual nature. Randu Singh and Harry Matthews, the latter dressed nautically as they plan an evening on his yacht. After his friends have departed Jason gets a message from Merlin who reminds he will need him later at Tintagel.
Then Jason sees that on the street below Harry has been attacked by the molten creature and assuming the role of the Demon leaps to his defense. A furious battle ensues and the creature proves immune to the Demon's fire. Batman arrives just in time to snare the Demon who thanks to Randu's incantation returns to his Jason identity.
The quartet go to Jason's apartment where they fill Batman in on the nature of Jason and the Demon and put their heads together to try and discover something out about the creature. Randu uses his powers of E.S.P. to look into the past and he sees the ship off the coast of Krakatoa in the year 1883 and aboard the captain prepares to hang Jack Dobbs, a murderous sailor but who declares he will not hang. The eruption of Krakatoa proves him right, but he goes down with the ship but does not die. Later a ship named the Lady Claire arrives and Dobbs in his new monstrous form boards it and ultimately it enters Gotham harbor where it sinks, burying Dobbs until the bridge construction freed him to carry out his vengeance on any nautical man.
Batman rushes to engage Dobbs again while the Demon goes to the local museum and gets a mysterious loop of rope. Later during the battle with the creature the Demon transforms back into Jason as Merlin not realizing why his aide has not arrived punishes him. Randu communicates the problem and Merlin chagrined returns the Demon to normal just in time for his to rip off a metal band around the neck of Jack Dobbs and loop a noose about it. It seems that hanging was his destiny after all and with a rope scavenged all those decades before by the crew of the Lady Claire.
It's a boisterous adventure, a rock solid excursion into the Haneyverse with some of Aparo's best artwork. This was valiant effort to promote the character and Aparo's rendition of the Demon has much merit to it, more mysterious in many ways than Kirby's bold version. But alas the plug didn't work as the series came to an end only a few months later.
I can locate two more guest-starring roles for the Demon.
He appeared again in The Brave and the Bold, but in 1977 long after his own series had been cancelled.
Many years later still he guested with in 1984 Superman in DC Comics Presents.
The Demon was a good guest-star and often going without his own regular series, one would've thought he'd have shown up more often.
But alas it was not so.