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Etrigan the Demon is a character from
the DC Universe that was created by Jack Kirby in 1972, first
appearing in The Demon #1. Etrigan is a demon from hell and even
though he is normally really violent he is often found helping the
forces of good because of the friendships between the heroes and
Jason Blood, the human whom The Demon possesses.
Even though his first series was short
lived and his second was cancelled after only five years, Etrigan has
stood the test of time as a favourite being a reoccurring character
in other titles such as Kevin Smith’s “Batman The Widening Gyre”,Green Arrow “Quiver” and
Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman”, with mini-series peppering the markets
over the years.
Etrigan is the son of Belial and the
half brother of Merlin. Merlin had hoped to gain secrets from his
brother, but after failing to do so he trapped Etrigan on earth in the body
of Jason Blood, a knight in King Arthur’s court of Camelot. Consecequentially making
Jason Blood immortal. Centuries later he is called to the crypt of
Merlin, where he reads a poem releasing Etrigan, which now makes Jason
Blood constantly fight for control.
Blood had many doubts about himself,
but despite this when the Justice League disappeared trying to rescue
Aquaman, Batman enlisted the help of Jason/Etrigan as the team’s
magic expert. This was only allowed if he met a certain requirement,
Jason Blood was not allowed into the Watchtower unless he could
control Etrigan. Blood spent time magically raising the defences of
the Watchtower. During a fight with Gamemnae, Blood sacrificed
himself to free Zatanna from control. However, with Martian Manhunter
telepathically prompting him to turn to Etrigan, he was able to
escape Gamemnae’s control. Not long after, Blood left the Justice
League giving his responsibilities to Manitou Raven.
It was during the series The Blood of
the Demon, plotted and drawn by John Byrne, that Jason was actually
able to force his will upon Etrigan when in demon form. The two
normally existed separately.Twice Etrigan attempted to make a
change in Hell. Once was using the Trident of Lucifer and hoping to
become the leader. He was defeated by a makeshift Shadowpact team at
the Oblivion Bar. Later he was in a battle for Hell on the behalf of
Nero and duelling the Blue Devil. Jason Blood played only a small part
during DC’s Blackest Night event. The body of Jason Blood was
possessed by Deadman, whom then invoked the transformation into
Etrigan and used his flames to hold back the Black Lanterns.
He also appeared in the JSA/JLA
crossover prelude before DC’s Brightest Day. Here he went to Germany
to investigate a meteorite that contained an unconscious Jade. After
attacking a squad of German superheroes, he then comes into conflict
with the Justice League. After being defeated and reverting back to
his human form he leaves, but not before warning Batman that the
meteorite contains supernatural abilities, which turns out to be the
Starheart. An entity that can give meta-humans magical or elemental
The poems that unleashes Etrigan:
“Yarva Demonicus Etrigan.
Change, change the form of man.
Free the prince forever damned.
Free the might from fleshy mire.
Boil the blood in heart of fire.
Gone, gone the form of man,
Rise the demon Etrigan.”