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October 27, 2013

Character Spotlight: Etrigan the Demon

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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“Gone, gone, form of man! Rise the demon, Etrigan!” With just a few words muttered an immortal man becomes a creature straight out of hell ready to wreak havoc upon all it deems fit. Etrigan finds all fit to burn and rend, he’s an equal opportunity demon like that. So who is this man and demon time-sharing existence and how did it get this way and what do they do? You got a lot of questions for someone who should be out trick-or-treating, but okay, I’ll answer this. Consider this a treat. TRICKED YOU! THE CHOCOLATES ARE MINE! THE PERFECT HALLOWEEN!

Etrigan the demon

Etrigan was summoned by his half-brother, Merlin, to help fight off Morgaine le Fey, but since he is too hot to handle (HEY OH! I’m sorry.) he is bound to knight of the round table, Jason Blood, imprisoning Etrigan and granting Blood immortality. Centuries after Camelot fell, Merlin would grant Jason the ability to unleash Etrigan when he was needed to aid others. The two are bound together, but cannot control each other, so when Jason releases Etrigan, the demon can do mostly what it wishes, but his binding seems to have influenced him to be slightly less malicious than most demons. Slightly.

Etrigan Jason_Blood_BTBATB_001

I don’t remember if the white streak is from Etrigan binding or just because Jason Blood is the cross-media ancestor to Rogue.

Etrigan would team up with many heroes over the centuries, both Blood and Etrigan providing different types of aid, as Blood is a master of the occult and magic, while Etrigan is a powerhouse from hell with intimate knowledge of Hell. They are often brought in for consultation (from Blood) and power (gleefully from Etrigan), though Blood is no slouch physically and can sling spells while Etrigan is effectively the next best thing to Virgil when you have to traverse Hell. (Yes, that was a Dante’s Divine Comedy reference, I read more than just comics and Carnisaur fanfic.)

Since I’m talking about DC’s Hell so much, I should talk about Etrigan’s place within that realm. Demons get demoted instead of promoted from our perspective. The lower you are, the closer you are to the Lowest himself. Etrigan is a low-ranking member, highly respected, and his rank grants the gift of rhyme, thus he speaks in rhyming couplets frequently. Etrigan has led armies in Hell to protect and stop other demons from messing with things. Despite his chaotic nature, Etrigan likes things to fit in his own way, like when he nearly had Lucifer’s trident so he could rule over all of Hell.

Etrigan_vs_Batman_Bruce_Wayne

Blood and Etrigan (I would go to that bookstore) have worked with the Justice League (as their magical consultant), Shadowpact (where Etrigan was held in stone for a while), the Justice Society (he traveled to Germany to rescue the resurrected Jade), and many others. A rivalry with Blue Devil occurs when Blue Devil accidentally gets demoted to Etrigan’s rhyming class and thus he has a new competitor. Generally Etrigan’s whole deal is, if you piss him off, now you have (literal) hell to pay.

In the New 52, back during the medieval era, Etrigan and Blood were working with super people of their time. Vandal Savage (the immortal villain from caveman times), Madame Xanadu (who had a relationship with both Blood and Etrigan), and Shining Knight (Sir Yustin! Remember Sir Yustin?). During the present day it is learned that Etrigan is bound below London by his own friends from back in the medieval times due to his own betrayal. Etrigan is able to fight off the entire team of Stormwatch, and runs off ready to cause chaos in the present day.

Etrigan

So now gone, gone article on Etrigan, and rise from your computer once again. Or not, it’s up to you, and thanks for reading about Etrigan the demon and Jason Blood. Etrigan always felt like “What if Hulk was smart enough to know what’s up?” Well then he’d have to be a support character because solo adventures would have to be mind-bogglingly huge to accommodate such a tough guy. With someone magically capable on one end, and then a magically capable monster-god on the other, I can see why they get called in to help.

Dr. Alexander Bustos

drbustos@comicattack.net

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2 Comments



  1. Awesome article. And nice way of working in a Dante Aligari reference! I love Etrigan! Such an amazing character!



    • Always liked this character but DC never seemed to do anything really good with him for an extensive period of time. Loved it when he would pop up in the various animated DC shows though!



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