Etrigan, The Demon
Eric S Brown
The Demon, Etrigan, has been a part of the DC Universe since 1972 and was created by the legendary comic artist Jack Kirby, though Kirby wasn’t exactly thrilled with the character as Etrigan’s success forced him to leave a title he was invested in.
In the Demon’s first issue, Etrigan is summoned up from Hell by Merlin to defend Camelot from the forces of Morgaine Le Fey, and though Etrigan fights a fierce battle, the city still falls. In the aftermath of the battle, Etrigan wanders away and becomes a human named Jason Blood, losing his memory. In this early incarnation, Jason had no knowledge that Etrigan was inside of him until many, many years later in the modern world when he is working as a demonologist and begins to hear voices that call him back to his past. Le Fey is attempting to breach Merlin’s tomb and Etrigan has been summoned to it and once there, all of the memories of his past flood into Jason Blood’s mind. He recites the magical incarnation “Gone, Gone, Oh form of Man, Rise the Demon, Etrigan” and the Demon is free once more.
Later, DC would reboot Etrigan, tweaking his origin so that he and Jason Blood are two people, and in this version, the comics dive much deeper into where Etrigan actually came from. It is revealed that Etrigan is Merlin’s half brother and the grandson of the super powerful entity, Trigon, making Raven from the Teen Titan’s the Demon’s aunt. The key part of this new origin though is that Jason and Etrigan are not the same person anymore. After the fall of Camelot, Jason wanders the Earth, loosing Etrigan from time to time as needed, as an immortal before finally turning up again in Gotham as the anti-hero DC fans know today.
The Demon is proof that even more obscure, cult characters are not immune to the reimagining that much better known heroes experience almost every decade. In addition to his own short lived series, the Demon has also been a member of the Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, remaining very active in the DCU today.