Issue by Issue – The Son of Satan #8

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Russ Heath
Colours – Don Warfield
Letters – Karen Mantlo

In this last issue scripted by none other than Bill Mantlo and drawn by the incomparable Russ Heath, the Son of Satan – Daimon Hellstrom, has answered a psychic summons by a person that looks and sounds like none other than his mother. That of course is an impossibility, but she seems so real that Daimon starts to doubt himself just a little. From here the book enters the surreal and the psychedelic, the absurd and the nightmare that looks like Hell, though Daimon’s mother does not claim it to be so. It is a strange trip that he takes with this imposter and while he knows in his deepest parts that she is not to be trusted and cannot be real, part of him wishes it to be so, to believe that the half of him that is supposed to be good is alive and well. Demons and spirits and all the denizens of the depths have come out to play for on this day, on Christmas Eve, Satan sleeps. It is the one time of year that Satan lets his guard down and while Daimon cannot believe it, it happens to be true. Mantlo creates a very unique tale that finds Hellstrom out of sorts with his surroundings, something that does not happen very often. It is not long though, before he starts to come back to his senses and discovers that things are definitely not what they seem. For a one-off tale, Mantlo does a great job and the artwork by Heath is spectacular. Most stories like this usually work best with characters that gravitate towards the dark, like Doctor Strange or Man-Thing and it is the same with the Son of Satan, creating a nightmarish experience for character and reader alike. When the end of the book arrives, Mantlo delivers not so much a surprise, as he does a smile. It is probably the most perfect of endings that this book could have had, though it is a little disappointing that this would end up being the final issue. There are no real villains present and very little action, but the horror more than makes up for it and it does end up being one of the best issues in the entire series.

4 out of 5

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