(November 1999)


"The End of the World As We Know It"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Matt Smith
Breakdowns: Christopher Jones
Inks: Steve Mitchell
Colors: James Sinclair
Separations: Jamison
Letters: Comicraft
Associate Editor: Tony Bedard
Editor: Dan Raspler


Out on the surface, scores of Earth's heroes battle an incredibly powerful Spectre, merged with the rebel angel Asmodel, who intends to destroy all life on the planet. Meanwhile, in Hell, a few of Earth's mystics joined by a team led by Superman, try their hand at defeating the devil [Nebiros]. Superman takes a knock and goes down leaving the rest in the lurch. Fortunately, the mystic known as Faust has a trick up his sleeve. Emptying a bag containing the remains of the [Blue Devil] (see [STARMAN No.38]), he resurrects the fallen hero who proceeds to dish out some pain to the stunned hellspawn. With the help of Firestorm, who turns all the water in Nebiros's body to cement, they defeat the beast just as Captain Marvel and S.T.R.I.P.E. race back from space with a spear that should stop the Spectre.

In order to reignite hell and draw the demons on the surface back to their domain, however, Faust must murder the [Enchantress]. He does such and loses the soul he had just recently regained through helping to defeat Nebiros. With the demons being sucked back, Captain Marvel stabs Spectre allowing the newly resurrected Hal Jordan to enter his body and make things right. But will he be able to do so in time? It seems Superman has been possessed by a demon who would claim the Spectre's power for his own.

This issue is notable, obviously, for the resurrection of the Blue Devil, as well as his acquisition of a new trident containing, presumably, the magic of Hell or some such.


Nebiros: I know you! But it cannot be! You are Daniel Cassidy!
Faust: Known to us common folk as Blue Devil. You've cursed plenty of us mortals, haven't you Nebiros? Not just me. You sealed Cassidy into a Blue Devil costume years ago. The first step of his evolution into a true demon. A demon tough enough to kick your tail.
Blue Devil: Guy's's payback time, Nebiros.
Enchantress: What spells can this blue demon cast to help us?
Faust: He doesn't know any spells.
Enchantress: Well, what does he know?
Blue Devil: THIS! *KARACKK* (slugs Nebiros in the jaw)

Batman: I hope you've got a fail-safe, Sentinel. For all our sakes.
Sentinel: Is it because you see some of yourself in Hal, Batman? Because the power Hal had to control all his years would've corrupted you as well?
Batman: I'll take that as a "no."



Firestorm turns all of the water in Nebiros's body to cement, but would Nebiros's body actually contain any water? It is a little known fact that the dimension from which the demon hails contains no such substance.

This was not a bad comic book. This is the only issue of the mini-series that I read or bought, so I found it to be, perhaps justifiably, confusing the first time I read it. But it is well paced, even if some of the events raise more questions than they provide answers, and on the whole the installment is rather entertaining. Matt Smith's artwork has a Mignola-like quality to it, and while it isn't really attractive, I find it interesting. His action sequences are a little bit boring, but his storytelling skills are good enough.

One note regarding the murder of Enchantress: I hope that the reason Superman seemed so blase in his assessment of that act was solely owing to his possession. It isn't that I can't see Superman accepting this on an intellectual level, but never so quickly or easily. Zatanna on the other hand...I can acknowledge that she would be more easily inclined to immediately comprehend the grim necessity.

As to the resurrection of Blue Devil, himself, I've gone and dedicated an entire page to that: [Day of Judgment]

If you arrived at this page through a search engine or some other direct link that did not provide you the site navigation, click this link.