(The) Demon – 17


(The) Demon – 17

General Info

Issue No:
17
On Sale Date:
October 1991
Cover Date:
November 1991
Era:
Dark Age
Story Title:
Beyond Redemption

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Denis Rodier
Writer:
Alan Grant
Penciller:
Van Semeiks
Inker:
Bob Smith
Letterer:
Todd Klein
Colourist:
Robbie Busch
Editor:
Dan Raspler

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana)
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Circe, Klarion (The Witch Boy)
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Teekl, Etrigan The Demon (Jason Blood), The Banshee, Thing
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Comments

This issue follows on from War of the Gods #3 and after the grim seriousness of Wonder Woman’s murder at the hands of Circe, we have here by total contrast a relatively light-hearted story line in which we find out just how Diana manages to escape true death, courtesy of the witch boy Klarion.

Synopsis

Having become bored causing mischief in California, the Witch Boy named Klarion decides to transport himself and his pet cat, Teekl, to somewhere a little more exciting. He conjures a spell and they materialise on the beach of Themyscira!

Hiding in the undergrowth, he watches events play out as Wonder Woman confronts the sorceress Circe. He sees the witch devolve the Amazon Princess back into the clay she was created from, killing her spirit in the process. As the gloating and triumphant Circe disappears Klarion emerges from his hiding place and sees Diana’s spirit form rise from the remains of her dead body on its way to the Afterlife. He decides to wipe the smile of Circe’s face and re-direct Wonder Woman’s spirit elsewhere instead.

Creating another spell, he transports the surprised Diana to a place known as the Region Beyond – a nothingness between worlds…between life and death..

In this netherworld at that same moment, the Demon known as Etrigan finds himself chained and hanging from the ceiling of a dungeon, as another inhabitant, a monstrous creature known as The Banshee, taunts him. She crows that death approaches and as he asks what she means she suddenly leaps at him, intending to rip out his throat but her own chains prevent her from reaching him.

Jason Blood, trapped inside the Demon’s body, thinks to himself how his other self’s strength would normally be able to shatter these chains but Etrigan seems incapable of doing so for some reason – almost as if the Demon does not want to break free. As The Banshee prepares to attack him again though there is a flash and a very surprised Wonder Woman materialises!

Looking around she asks where she is and as the Banshee leaps to attack her instead, Etrigan calls out a warning. The Amazon Princess reacts swiftly and grabbing the creature, hurls her to the floor. Angry, she pummels The Banshee to the ground, saying that while she does not pretend to understand how she can be dead and here, one thing she is certain of is that she does not intend to die again!

She then turns her attention to where Etrigan hangs as he asks for her help in getting down. She replies that it depends on why he is tied up there in the first place! However, she is prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt as he had given her a warning before she had been attacked, but before she can make a move The Banshee strikes her from behind, slamming her to the floor.

Etrigan watches as the creatures uses it claws to tear at Wonder Woman’s flesh, sending blood flying everywhere! As Wonder Woman struggles futilely against Banshee, who uses the element of surprise to maximum effect, the Demon sees the Amazon’s blood run across the floor and the smell and taste of it sends him into a bloodlust! He snaps his chains and leaping down, grabs the stunned Banshee and slams her against the wall before pounding her into a bloody pulp.

As Wonder Woman staggers to her feet, thanking him for his albeit brutal intervention, he suddenly grabs her too and uses his tongue to lick the blood from her lips and face! Enraged, she punches him away and Jason Blood realises that she does not understand that Etrigan enjoys taking pain as much as giving it! Wonder Woman is fast and strong but in the long run she cannot stand a chance against the power of Hell itself! He knows cannot make the Demon obey him, but if he does not do something soon she is finished!

As the Demon steps towards her and she issues another warning for him to keep his distance, Jason Blood forces Etrigan to speak and utter the incantation that turns him back into a the form of a man again. As the Demon grabs Wonder Woman around the neck and prepares to pound her into submission, the spell takes effect and Diana suddenly finds herself staring into the eyes of a normal human being.

She gets to her feet and warns him to stay back, fearing another trick. Realising he no longer has his Demon form and its related powers, Etrigan attempts to assure her that he means her no harm. He explains that he has two sides to himself – and his task is to keep the Demonside in, but that this strange and foreign land he has found himself in made him lose control and Etrigan got out of hand as a result. Wonder Woman responds that she too is a stranger here and tells him how she had been fighting Circe, who had proved too strong and had managed to destroy Wonder Woman’s physical form – turning it to clay. The Witch Boy Klarion had then banished her spirit form here as it rose from her body.

Recognizing the name, Etrigan replies that they share a common foe as he had challenged Klarion in the name of good. But his power was not strong enough and he paid the price by being exiled here too.

Diana replies that she should be dead and yet she still feels alive. She cannot understand how but it is vital for all Mankind that she returns to Earth. She asks if he knows a way how to? He tells her that there is a way back based on the amount of good a person does here. He then holds out his hand slyly, saying that they should share their virtue but Wonder Woman is still not entirely convinced by his sincerity although does not want to leave him here if he is indeed no longer a foe. As she ponders his offer to work together she hears a scrabbling sound behind her and turns to see a strange, funny looking creature pop its head through the air vent. It offers its help in rescuing the “damsel in distress!”.

Etrigan recognises Jason Blood’s companion”Thing” as the creature squeezes it’s body through the grill and into the chamber. He asks Thing if he has come to help, but is told bluntly that while he is happy to help Jason, Thing wants nothing to do with Etrigan! Enraged that he has been rumbled, Etrigan grabs the creature and begins to throttle it. As Wonder Woman tries to pull him off she is knocked back by a punch! The Amazon Princess reacts quickly by unhooking her lasso and looping it around the surprised Demon! She demands he speaks the truth and compelled by the power of Hestia’s Golden Rope, he tells her that he is not a man but the hell-spawned demon named Etrigan. He loves to hate, loves to kill, loves to cause fear and delights in pain! Realising he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever her mind is finally made up.

Taking Thing, she ties Etrigan up in the chains and then smashes her way out of the dungeon wall and escapes. As she flies away Thing tells her that he is trying to gain merits by helping her. She asks that if he is trying to be good, does that means he used to be bad? He tries to deny the fact but realising that lying has no merits, he reluctantly says that he once was very very bad. He assumes she will want to know what he did but she replies that it is his own business. As she touches down on a huge stone pillar and puts him on the ground, she tells him to be silent because if virtue is the only way out of this god-forsaken place then perhaps she can sense it somehow.

As she throws one end of her lasso into space it plummets down into the void below and smiling, she tells him that she must follow its thread. But he cannot see anything and realises he does not have enough virtue yet. He tells her to continue on without her because he was has been so bad that he will never earn enough merit to escape this place. Wonder Woman kneels down smiling and says that he should not give up hope. If he has found a spark of goodness in himself then he needs to fan it until it becomes a blaze. ” And one day, you may go back to Earth. Look me up when you do.” With that she gives him a peck on the cheek before flying off into the distance, leaving Thing to cry out in glee “Yipeee!”