Issue by Issue – The Demon #8

Writer – Jack Kirby
Artist – Jack Kirby
Inker – Mike Royer
Letters – Mike Royer

Jack Kirby begins things with a mystery this issue as the Demon, Randu and Harry search Jason Blood’s apartment. Something is amiss, just what it is, they have no idea, but the Demon senses an evil present and they mean to find it. Soon, that evil presents itself in the form of a man who has pilfered some objects from Blood’s collection and when confronted by the Demon, makes good his escape before he is caught. Kirby introduces the next villain to make his presence known in this series, simply called the Phantom. This particular phantom is equal parts Phantom of the Opera and the Abominable Dr. Phibes – as damaged as both, as mad as each and just as dangerous. Said Phantom is obsessed with bringing his lady-love Galatea back to life from the statue that she appears to be. For Jason Blood, once he has reappeared, has grown exceptionally tired of the Demon’s presence and looks to banish the creature permanently and believes he knows exactly how to do that. Without realizing the full ramifications of what he has done, the Phantom comes back and kidnaps Glenda, the woman Jason loves and now, without the Demon, there seems to be little hope of getting her back. Kirby does a great job of escalating the tension in this issue, the Phantom becoming a bigger threat than any perhaps conceived of. Additionally, by depowering Jason Blood, it adds an extra layer of suspense and excitement over everything as it leaves things with an uncertainty not seen before in the book. The artwork is top-notch as well, Kirby giving the pages his usual flair and with Mike Royer on inks, the Demon and his compatriots pop right off the page with the Phantom looking especially dangerous. There is one question that raises its head when reading this story, that being where is Merlin? If Jason Blood were to try and get rid of the Demon on a permanent basis, one would think that Merlin would actively look to prevent that, the fates of both being somewhat intertwined. That being said, with the book being left on a cliff-hanger and the Demon unable to do anything about the current situation, perhaps Merlin will indeed make an appearance in the next book.

4 out of 5

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