That time the guys behind Herogasm worked on DC’s The Demon

Jul 21, 2022 | News



Before Garth Ennis and John McCrea created The Boys Spin off Herogasm, the pair collaborated on a  2 year run of DCs The Demon.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Etrigan’s creation, we’re going to highlight Ennis and McCrea’s underrated run on the series and show you why the hitman from hell should be on your to-read list.

What is The Demon?

The Demon was created in 1972 by Jack Kirby and follows the adventures of Jason Blood, a knight of Camalot, and the demon Etrigan. Bound together by the Magician Merlin and cursed to roam the earth for eternity.

Over the millennia, Jason and Etrigan share an uneasy alliance. However, Ennis and McCrea’s saga sees the partnership broken and the pair at odds with the lives of Jason’s loved ones in the balance.

Ennis and McCrea era

When Ennis was given the task of taking over The Demon series from Alan Grant, he was already well into his quintessential run on another supernatural DC title, John Constantine: Hellblazer. Another character battling his inner demons. Only Jason’s was a literal demon.

Both titles, though unrelated, share many of the typical traits of Garth Ennis’s storytelling including his dark humour and unique quirky characters. From The Choirboy Commandoes and the crew of the Haunted Tank to the Baytor the demon lord of the criminally insane, excellently brought to life by McCrea. These characters need to be seen to be believed.

The pair’s work can sometimes be considered crass and crude, however, The Demon is proof of the opposite. Scenes between Etrigan, Jason Blood, and his love interest Glenda Mark are truly dramatic. The moments are captured perfectly in tone by McRea’s art and the use of shadows.

Conclusion and spin-off

Ennis and McCrea’s run on the series lasted 21 issues including annuals and one-shots and concluded with the cancellation of the series.

Although the pair’s take on Etrigan didn’t have long-term effects on the character and supporting cast, one key player invented by Ennis and McCrea had success in his own spin-off book and had a big impact in the DC universe.

Tommy Monaghan AKA Hitman (nothing to do with the video games).

Hitman is much closer in tone to The Boys than its mother series. If not as extreme, it still has a satirical take on superheroes. Another great read for anyone looking for more Ennis/McCrea fun.

Similarities with The Boys

Obviously, being set in the main DC universe, The Demon isn’t able to go to places the same way as The Boys.

Despite this, both series share similarities such as that unique Ennis comedy, the themes of relationships between fathers and their children, and both even include war stories (a favourite subject of Ennis) cementing The Demon as just as much of a Garth Ennis book as Preacher and Punisher MAX.

Have you read Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s The Demon? How does it compare to their later work, Herogasm? Let us know on our social media below.

By Liam Priestley

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