Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Cover: Demon Hunter

Another scary scan for October.

This is one of my all-time favorite comics: Demon Hunter #1, published by the short-lived Atlas Comics back in 1975. Created by artist Rich Buckler and scripted by David Anthony Kraft, it told the story of a Mafia hitman who became involved with a demonic cult, ultimately turning against them and determined to foil their plan to bring about xenogenesis – which the comic postulated would be the rebirth of the demon race upon the Earth.

Back in '75, when I was a wee lad of ten, I asked my uncle to pick me up a comic book when he went to the local corner store. I expected that he would return with an Archie or Richie Rich, or maybe an issue of World's Finest. Instead, he brought me this... and I was floored. It was, by far, the most adult-themed comic I had read up to that point, with a decidedly amoral protagonist pitted against genuinely frightening, supernatural adversaries. I had also never heard of Atlas Comics, and I was fascinated by the in-house advertisements for their other titles, which all sounded kind of twisted.

(They were all rather twisted, actually. Check out this website for a history of this oddball publishing house. Needless to say, I have since collected nearly their entire output!)

Anyway, the series never made it past this single issue. Creator Buckler revived the character under the name "Bloodwing" for a self-published comics mag called Galaxia a few years later, and when that failed (also after one issue), he introduced a thinly-disguised version of the character at Marvel, where he went by the name Devil-Slayer.

Never cared much for the Marvel version, but this comic – with its script by Kraft – remains one of my favorite horror-themed adventure comic books, and Buckler's art has rarely been better than it was here.


Keith said...

That sounds really cool. It's a shame that it never made it past that single issue.

Cunningham said...

Atlas had some cool comics in their lineup that quickly degenerated into Marvel knock-offs...

IRONJAW (how can you not love a character with that name?)

Bill Spangler said...

So this character was also known as Bloodwing for a while? I did not know that. As the Boss knows, I created a character that I called Bloodwing, which ran for eight issues in the late 1980s. The one-line description that I used to give people for my Bloodwing was "The Shadow meets Blade Runner," so the character didn't have much in common with this one, except for the name. Weird.

El Vox said...

Neat cover and sounds like a cool comic. I like odd stuff like this too.