Friday, 22 April 2011

Son of Satan #1. Daimon Hellstrom gets his house repossessed.

Son of Satan #1, cover
After two years as the lead in Marvel Spotlight, the Son of Satan finally gets his own mag.

As so often with these things, his run in his own title proved less successful than his stint in another, and The Son of Satan vanished from the shelves after just 8 issues.

But this is issue #1 and no doubt hopes were high.

The first thing you notice is that the front cover masthead isn't a patch on the one used in the Son Of's first four appearances in Marvel Spotlight. Why Marvel didn't stick with that original, I have no idea, as I'm of the determined opinion it was the best masthead Marvel created in the 1970s. I mean, seriously, look at it here, and tell me it isn't better than the one used on Son of Satan #1.

But of course that's only packaging. What matters are the contents. After his latest adventure, Daimon Hellstrom returns home, to find his big creepy house vandalised, his late mother's diary stolen and a bunch of dinky little crosses hung upside down near the ceiling. As we all would, he assumes Satan's behind it and, as we all would, enters Hell through the portal in his cellar.

There, he has a quick scrap with some whingeing demons, who seem to have modelled their behaviour on the X-Men's Toad, and has an argument with Satan before returning to the house to be confronted by the real vandal; a masked cornball who calls himself the Possessor.

Son of Satan #1, the Possessor
The Possessor is a somewhat charmless individual with a couple of demons' heads growing out of the side of his face. After doing a load of boasting, and giving us a few glimpses of  some crystals - the loss of which'll no doubt prove to be his undoing - the Possessor then disappears to randomly kill an American Indian before finishing the issue by laughing maniacally.

The obvious limitation of the series comes back to haunt it as, even when it's trying to break away from having Satan as the main bad guy, the Son Of still initially comes up against Satan. The strip really needed to ditch the Devil completely and have the fact that Daimon Hellstrom is his son as a backdrop to the strip, rather than something that constantly intruded on it. Spider-Man only existed because of the thief who killed his Uncle Ben but he didn't come up against that thief every month.

The Son of Satan #1, evil tree
Jim Mooney's artwork's solid enough but not exceptional and his inking's far too heavy-handed in places. It also has to be said his portrayal of Satan isn't a patch on Herb Trimpe's in those first two Marvel Spotlight outings.

There's also a problem of a total lack of a supporting cast. Apart from Hellstrom, there're simply no  characters other than bad guys.

Still, as a story it at least sets things rolling and makes you wonder who the Possessor is, why he has demons' heads stuck out of him and why he wants to kill elderly American Indians. So, it does make you want to read next month's issue, even if you don't get the feeling you'll be reading anything other than a run-of-the-mill mid-1970s Marvel comic.

1 comment:

Boston Bill said...

Marvel's toe-dipping into the supernatural (aside from Dr Strange) never really appealed to me. And this guy always troubled me a little, what with my Catholic upbringing and all. But really, he seemed too much like a superhero to be demonic, and too demonic to be a hero.
But then he appears in a couple issues of the Defenders and fits right in! There was something about the Defenders that could bring out the best in just about any non-traditional hero, in the same way that the A-list heroes worked out so well in the Avengers.

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