SHADOWPACT No. 4
"Blue Devil: A Night in the Life"
|Assoc. Editor:||Michael Wright|
This tale takes us along on a typical day in the life of [Shadowpact] member Daniel Cassidy, a.k.a. the [Blue Devil] as he flirts with old women, rescues cats, exchanges witty banter with his local priest/exorcist, and nearly dodges murder by Reservoir Dogs rejects, Mr. Green and Mr. Gray—a couple of demonic bounty hunters.
But before that can happen he must do battle with an enormous lizard-like beast on the loose after its escape from Monster Isle—sorry, wrong company—rather, set free by the wild, unregulated raw magics causing trouble ever since that whole fiasco with the Spectre in [DAY OF VENGEANCE]. However, through some luck, Mr. Gray and Mr. Green end up taking down the beast, providing the Blue Devil the opportunity to blast them both with his trident and return them to Hell.
There isn't much to this issue, but as comics come, this was enjoyable, if disposable. It's reminiscent of the type of stories that Mishkin and Cohn were writing in the second half of their run on the BLUE DEVIL series: frivilous one-offs highlighting the Blue Devil's weirdness magenticness. What? Magneticness isn't a word? Well, it should be. Anyway, nothing really changes—it's just an excuse to tell some weird jokes. Usually they were pretty funny back in the Mishkin and Cohn days, and they're pretty funny here as well. Particularly amusing are the litany of malapropisms employed in Mr. Green and Mr. Gray's running expositing.
This installment works, however, largely owing to the fact that Willingham is finally proving—to me anyway— that he really gets the Blue Devil. He's not just some clown with big muscles, but more like a particularly capable concerned citizen who's determined not to let anything ruin his day. I think my favorite moment here is the Blue Devil taking a powder after getting thumped by Gray and Green while he lets those two duke it out with the lizard beast. Can you see Superman doing that? I enjoy that Willingham has written a smart hero who knows when to play his enemies off against each other to cut down on the actual amount of work he has to do. That's funny. And different.
Somebody on Usenet recently referred to the Blue Devil, written by Willingham, as something like the DC equivalent to Marvel's Ben Grimm, the Thing. That's not a bad comparison, at least in the context of this issue, though the Blue Devil does a whole lot less moping around than the Thing does. That's a positive in my book.
There's a running joke here that nobody really knows the Blue Devil's name. One character calls him the Blue Demon, while another calls him Big Devil. This is sort of ironic given that Geoff Johns is using the same running joke over in TEEN TITANS in regards to the [Kid Devil], who has been called Blue Devil, Jr., and importuned by little fanboys for information about the Blue Devil, whom they know quite well.
This page last updated 31 August 2006.
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