Writer: Andrew Constant
Penciller: Brad Walker
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Cover: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, Chris Sotomayor
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: April 25, 2018
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
This is the final issue of this miniseries! So I assume we’ll figure out just what the heck has been going on. Regardless, it’s gonna look sweet! Find out how it reads in my review of The Demon: Hell is Earth #6, just below! Just like Hell is!
It’s been sort of nagging me, throughout the most recent issues of this series, that Hell is expanding well beyond the borders of Death Valley, but this hasn’t aroused the attention of any other DCU characters. Even just an aside between Cyborg and the Flash would cut it: “We can’t do anything about this because it’s too magical, and plus Zatanna is taking a long shower and Constantine is an asshole.” Any kind of acknowledgement would do, really, particularly when you open this issue by showing that Metropolis and Gotham have been consumed by Hellfire, and the rest of the world is quickly following suit. Until this point, I was happy to pretend this miniseries was occurring in different universe—perhaps one adjacent to the DCU, but one in which Superman wouldn’t or couldn’t beat back Hades with his freeze breath or whatever.
But since the planet is suffused with the sulfurous fires of Heck, not to mention the energy he sopped up from Merlin in the last issue, Belial is super powerful. It seems like nothing can be done to stop him from turning the Earth into Planet Hell. Even the bad attitude of his son, Etrigan, has little effect…until he bonds permanently with Merlin’s dying body and becomes Super Etrigan. That’s right—somehow the last vestiges of power within Merlin make Etrigan more powerful than Belial, who absorbed the lion’s share of Merlin’s whatchamacallit force. Now that’s pretty lame. We see that Merlin can still imbue people with extra magic, when he touches Madame Xanadu’s foot and she’s able to knock Belial for a loop with a magic punch. But to make the recipient more powerful, that would imply that Belial was a weakling beforehand. And that doesn’t seem correct.
Once Etrigan becomes Superdemon, it’s a total rout: Lucifer, in his giant wolf form, is killed, and then Belial is knocked into oblivion by his only sonny boy. It all happens so quickly, one has to wonder if there were ever any stakes here at all. In the end, everything gets re-set, and it’s then implied that Jason Blood and Madame Xanadu will roam the countryside on a motorcycle, fixing magic-based shenanigans, and calling up Etrigan whenever they need a giant worm eaten. Which is not likely to happen, especially given that this series crawled along from issues three through five. The art is of great quality, and has been all along, but this story is just dull. Having the same McGuffin that got you into a mess being the thing to get you out of it can be a nice narrative trope, but here’s it comes across as lazy.
Bits and Pieces:
Everything wraps up in a neat little bow, if that bow were made from bloody intestines and spiritual torture. The person that caused Hell to spill out everywhere is also the person that fixes things, which can be a cool narrative trick but reads as being very lazy here. I'd hoped for more from this miniseries.