Issue by Issue – The Demon #11

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

Over the course of the series, Jack Kirby has paid a nice little homage to a few different characters from literature and cinema and in this issue; he tackles Mary Shelley’s most famous creation, the Frankenstein Monster. Though there is the obvious horror quotient present, Kirby also peppers the story with a bit of charm. Seeing him tackle the familiar story in his own fashion is a joy as he makes it his own, and how could he not when he frames it around the Demon – a creature not present in the original tale. Things are different of course as there is no Baron Von Frankenstein, instead the man being called Von Rakenstein and according to him, sometimes called Von Evilstein by his lessers. Igor is present and so is the monster, though this creature is quite different in appearance. Kirby creates empathy in the reader for the plight of the poor monster. He never wanted to be experimented upon and only longs for freedom, but it is something that may never manifest unless the Demon can do something about it. There is one problem though and Kirby makes things interesting by having his main character be bound and helpless for the majority of the issue. The one thing that works out in Jason Blood’s favour is the simple fact that he and the Demon are one, for if they were not, the Baron’s experiments would surely have killed him by this point, if not allowed the man to remove Jason’s brain and implant it within the creature’s head. Most of the horror within this story is delivered by the setting instead of the characters, the claustrophobic nature of the prison where Jason and the creature are kept, providing a constant fear rather than a simple moment of fright. Kirby’s pencils are right on point yet again with Mike Royer really making them pop off the page in all their power. Von Rakenstein’s monster is especially well designed, not so much fearsome as he is imposing, a creature filled with immeasurable strength. For a book called The Demon, he was not in it so much and that was perfectly all right as Kirby weaved a story so tight that one hardly noticed until leaving readers on a cliff-hanger. Incredible stuff from the King of Comics!

4.5 out of 5

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