Belial readies himself for his global takeover as Etrigan the Demon, Jason Blood, Madame Xanadu, and Merlin finally near the tear between Hell and Earth. As has often been the case, several lower demons are standing in the way of our heroes. Unfortunately, Belial still has some tricks up his sleeve to which our heroes are not privy.
The Demon: Hell is Earth #5 readies itself for the grand finale by—well, doing what it has been doing for the past three issues or so. The Demon is snarky, he kills a bunch of smaller demons in a shower of blood, and he chastises the other heroes in this just to do the right thing.
Yeah, it's probably a good thing that this story is about to conclude, because its tricks are becoming just a little too transparent.
That's not to say that this book isn't fun. Fortunately, Andrew Constant writes an endlessly fun iteration of Etrigan. He rhymes, he's bloodthirsty, and he is always a touch away from unloading his fury on his friends.
Belial is great too, as he is as prone to silliness and self-indulgent ridiculousness as Etrigan. His opening dialogue with Lucifer had me chuckling quite a bit.
The ending twist which Belial throws at Merlin is muddled and confusing. It comes off like Belial has gotten one over on Merlin by tampering with the spell that closes the tear, but it really just seems like Belial was waiting for our heroes behind a charred bush while licking his chops. In fairness, I could see Belial doing exactly that.
Brad Walker continues his streak of using his detailed and heavily shaded art style to construct this brutal world. There's actually more shading in this issue to give that extra touch of foreboding atmosphere. Plus, his tendency towards craggily features really fits a story full of demons and monsters. Andrew Hennessy's inking work keeps the penciling tight. Chris Sotomayor continues using a mixture of blacks, reds, and oranges to keep this hellscape as ominous and charred as possible.
The Demon: Hell is Earth #5 does show that this story could have consisted of only four-issues, but it is still a fun read regardless. Constant's Etrigan is a fantastic lead, and Belial is allowed to be very charming. Walker, Hennessy, and Sotomayor keep the art looking good to boot, and this one gets another recommendation. Check it out.