Issue by Issue – The Demon #10

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

The tale of the Phantom comes to an end with this issue as the Demon decides to take a pro-active approach when dealing with the man instead of just immediately engaging in battle. Perhaps it is due to the fact that underneath it all, the Demon can still sense some of what Jason Blood feels, thus giving the creature a bit of empathy towards the man that has kidnapped Glenda. It is here that Jack Kirby moves the Demon forward in terms of characterization, the monster previously only using brute force to overcome his enemies. While not necessarily a bad thing because it always worked, seeing the Demon’s capabilities expanded is good to see and truly makes the creature something to be feared. Those powers now include the summoning of other demons and the casting of spells, something that might seem a little strange at first, what with the Demon being the servant of Merlin and all. It does make a little sense though as Merlin would want those that serve him to be as powerful as can be, though not so much as to be a threat to the man himself. So it is that Kirby takes the Demon into the past once again, this time to find out what happened to the Phantom when he was a young man, to see just what it was that Galatea did to him to create the monster that he became today. As it turns out, there is nothing quite as spiteful as a woman being spurned; the jealousy that rears its head when it is found out that she is not the sole object of her paramour’s affections. In one sense, it could be said that it was the Phantom’s fault, but ultimately, Galatea did not have to take things as far as she did and though the Demon would change it if he could, the past is the past and it must remain so. Kirby’s story is a good one, filled with horror and redemption, the Phantom being at the center of it all. There is a full page devoted to the disfigurement of the Phantom’s face alone and it is both exquisitely drawn and horrible at the same time. The book is filled with such moments that make it a joy to read, Kirby tugging at one emotion or another as it moves towards that big finale where it ends on a somewhat frightening, yet satisfying note.

4.5 out of 5

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