Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Son of Satan gets around

Y'know, I hardly think this is a revelation or anything, but I haven't seen it commented on anywhere, it's fairly interesting and when you it out loud/write it out it sounds kind of insane: Daimon Hellstrom, aka Marvel's Son of Satan has been appearing fairly regularly five pretty high profile comic books over the last few months--and a more diverse group of titles you are unlikely to find...

-In New Avengers he was a red herring for the new Sorcerer Supreme and battled the Hood and Dormammu with the likes of Spider-Man and Captain America.

-In Marvel Zombies 4 he was done up in his full cape and pentagram regalia as a member of the Midnight Sons helping to fend off the zombie menace.

-In Marvel Divas he attempted to tempt his ex-wife, Hellcat, into an illicit reunion by offering to cure Firestar of her cancer.

-In Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire he's currently bald, pierced and aiding Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch against Zadkiel and the Anti-Christ.

-And finally, he just showed up in Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural to apparently stab Jericho Drumm in the back and deliver him to his daddy down below.

This may seem like a random string of facts just kinda strung together (and it is), but think about it: Son of Satan is the new Wolverine! Actually, even Wolverine didn't appear in a flagship book like New Avengers, an off-the-beaten-path horror series like Marvel Zombies 4 and friggin' Marvel Divas in the span of like four months!

Guys, that is nuts! Daimon Hellstrom is blowing up!

Honestly, I pretty much dig Son of Satan, so I'm not writing all this as a mocking or derogatory statement. He's one of those characters who I have never really read any of his solo adventures, but am familiar enough with his deal and taken enough with his various visuals that I've always had an interest in getting to know more about him, it's just never happened (there are many characters I feel this way about, and I actually hope to craft a longer entry about them in the near future). Gary Friedrich was onto something pretty wacky when he thought it would be a neat idea for the son of the devil to become a super hero mainly because it would piss off his old man; that's pretty rad and unique motivation on one hand, and on the other, totally relatable. And you gotta love that most of his costumes (when he's not just dressing like a goth) have some sort of corny devil horn motif and tridents everywhere.

Anyways, while I'm all for Son of Satan getting some exposure, it just seems nuts--in a wonderful way--to me that after decades of the guy being a C-list occasional guest star on the fringe of the Marvel Universe aside from that Hellstorm: Prince of Lies series that Warren Ellis wrote back in the 90's (and which confused everybody even further as to Daimon's tricky last name), suddenly and practically simultaneously Brian Michael Bendis, Fred Van Lente, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Jason Aaron and Rick Remender all thought it would be a good time for this dude to make his comeback. It's that kind of brilliant comic book phenomenon you love to see where after years of obscurity a character can just be everywhere overnight.

It also continues the kinda cool to me trend of the last five or six years where the lost Marvel creations of the 70's who were always forgotten between the stalwarts of the Silver Age and the new hotness from the 80's and 90's have found new shelf life through a generation of writers who grew up reading them. There was really this entire wave of really neat characters with great looks who debuted in books like Marvel Premiere or Marvel Spotlight and then either went onto limited success or settled into obscurity who are now tearing up the charts. Son of Satan may well be the latest example (and Deathlok could soon join him), but this is a club that also includes Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Ms. Marvel, the original Spider-Woman, Moon Knight, Nova, Adam Warlock and more.

It's also refreshing proof that no matter how many times you think the comics industry is eating its own tail as far as using the same characters time and time again, somebody is going to come along and either create something new or remember a character that hasn't been seen in years and set out to show why they made an impression on them to begin with.


Martin Gray said...

But wither Woodgod?

Great piece Ben. Damon lost me in the last Marvel Divas though, making an agreement, immediately reneging on it and no one even commenting?

I suppose as a hell type he could appear all over the place with different looks and different moods. That Brother Voodoo panel is, appropriately, rather hot.

demoncat said...

nice to see Damion back causing mischief in the mu. and of course he is not going to keep agreements for he is the son of the devil. which Disney will no doubt put an end too as owners of marvel . in fact son of satan is the reason Damion is not so well known for no one wants to be caught reading about a charcter who is the off spring of the devil

Greenblatt the Great! said...

Hey, Ben,

If you're interested, I wrote an extensive article on Son of Satan, including his roots in Ghost Rider, in Back Issue! # 22:

I got to interview the creators, and it's interesting to read what they said about the character, particularly original artist Herb Trimpe.

Son of Satan and Brother Voodoo were far out books, especially with Gene Colan drawing issues of each. Marvel Spotlight # 18 in particular was amazingly atmospheric.


Michael Aushenker

Levitra said...

This characters is totally diabolic, reason for which I couldn't read any of his comic books during my childhood.

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