The Demon: Hell is Earth #1

The relationship between Jason Blood and Etrigan is what some folks might call… complicated. But it’s exactly that relationship that will come from the forefront in an exciting new miniseries by writer Andrew Constant (Torn) and the art team of Brad Walker and Andrew Hennessy (both of Aquaman fame). Set in the middle of of Death Valley, Jason Blood has retired, making the choice to lock away the demon Etrigan forever. But retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when a nuclear bomb goes off in the California desert and from the cracks, Hell is emerging…

“I was excited to work on a great, slightly lesser exposed Kirby character,” says Brad Walker. “As I’ve gotten into Andrew’s scripts, I’ve been having fun doing something tonally different than books I’ve worked on in the past. It’s fun tapping into moody, darker aspects of my art. It has a bit of a Vertigo vibe. It’s maybe not a side of me people know, but it’s stuff I am a fan of, just as much as the big, bombastic, superhero stuff.”

The first hellish issue of The Demon: Hell is Earth by Andrew Constant, Brad Walker, and Andrew Hennessy hits shelves on November 15, 2017.

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Mystik U #1

Zatanna Zatara is one of the most powerful magicians to walk the Earth. But while she can alter the fabric of reality with one backwards word (drow?), what was she like in college?

Mystik U, an upcoming prestige-format limited series written by Alisa Kwitney (Destiny) and drawn by Mike Norton (Revival, Runaways), explores this hugely unpredictable and wild time in life – and for most folks that’s even without magic is thrown into the mix.

DC News spoke with both Alisa and Mike looking to give us an idea about what readers can expect when classes start this fall.

DC: So what is Mystik U about?

Mike: Mystik U is about a sheltered show biz kid (Zatanna), a bitter rebel (Sebastian Faust, son of Felix), a split personality (Enchantress), a competitive premed student (new character Pia Morales), and an awkward prodigy (Sargon the Sorceror) all discovering that they have the capacity to perform real magic.

They’re enrolled at a university for the magically gifted, where the world’s most powerful practitioners of magic will mentor their fledgling talents…and try to discover which of them is fated to betray the others and become a powerful force of evil.

DC: Sounds like we can expect plenty of magic. What else can we expect?

Alisa: Human stuff. The first year of college is a kind of theater where people improvise themselves—sometimes they change their names, and they might adopt a whole new way of dressing along with a new passion. It’s also a place where you might discover that, after years of being on the bottom of the food chain in high school, there are people who recognize your talents. But the opposite can also occur—you realize that you’re no longer the best in the class at something. Mystik U is very much a story of freshman orientation for Zatanna and the others, but on magickal steroids.

Mike: An interesting take on a story you may have thought you knew. I’ve really enjoyed looking at some of these characters in a way I never did before!

DC: Is there a villain?

Mike: Gotta have a villain!

Alisa: There is definitely a villain, but there’s also an exploration of the villain’s journey. One of the things I always loved about Harry Potter was the unfolding of the story of the young Tom Riddle and how he came to be Lord Voldemort. If I could ask J.K. Rowling to write a book for me, it would be the complete tale of Tom Riddle’s school days at Hogwarts.

DC: Some of your core cast members—like Sargon the Sorcerer—aren’t as well known. Why did you pick this particular cast?

Alisa: I wanted some of the more obscure magical characters from the DCU because I knew I would have the freedom to explore different aspects of them. For example, it seemed clear to me that Sargon should be from the Middle East. The historical Sargon of Akkad was the founder of a dynasty that ruled over what is now Iran and Iraq and beyond. I also wanted to look more closely at Sargon’s relationship with his ruby. Does it give him his powers, or enhance them? And at what cost?

I wanted a brooding, aloof, tormented Heathcliff type, because that’s always sexy, and Sebastian Faust fit the bill perfectly. I mean, he gets his powers because his father, the evil sorcerer Felix Faust, betrays him and uses him. And Faust (the son) needs to conceal his eyes with dark glasses because he’s not in complete control of his power. That’s just deliciousness to a writer. I don’t know why everyone hasn’t been clamoring to write more Faust.

As for Enchantress, I wanted to show a different side of her. I don’t see June Moon and Enchantress as a good girl/bad girl split, or a clear case of possession. I mean, who hasn’t gone to college and experimented a bit and discovered a new side of themselves?

And then there’s Zatanna. There’s so much expectation placed on her—she’s the one who comes into the book, and the school, with a reputation, with history and baggage. Everyone expects her to be the one to watch—so how does that impact on her? And what happens when she doesn’t perform as well as she—and everyone else—expects?

Pia, who is the new character, is clearly the most obscure. She thought she was on one track—medical school—until her powers manifested and she realized she had to figure out what to do with this new ability. She’s also snarky and opinionated. I get tired of seeing ensemble casts where the guys get all the funny lines and the girls are always left saying, “Come on, it’s time to get back to work.” Pia’s a bit of a wiseass.

DC: These are all younger versions of the characters than we’re used to seeing. What went into designing their look in this series?

Mike: A lot of thought went into trying to make modern, real-life looks for the established characters. It was challenging and fun updating some of the more obscure characters too. This hasn’t been a part of the DCU I’ve had a lot of experience in, so it’s been a blast jumping in and playing.

DC: We’ve definitely seen magical schools before. How does Mystik U differ from that other very popular wizarding school?

Mike: Well, that other school doesn’t have the House of Mystery or the House of Secrets on its campus! That’s one difference!

The first 48-page issue of Mystik U hits your favorite local and online comic shop on November 29, 2017. Redro ruoy ypoc won!

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