"Unleash the One Who Waits":
- I'm dying, you fool! I must be replenished in the cosmic fires --- which can only be created from Merlin's "Eternity Book!!" The patience of Morgaine le Fey has worn thin with desperation! As we led you to us, Etrigan --- so shall you lead us to Merlin!!
Synopsis for "Unleash the One Who Waits"
- The unnatural forces of Morgaine le Fey laid siege to the citadel of Camelot, seeking to capture the great wizard Merlin and his Eternity Book. Though the evil sorceress managed to breach the castle walls, her troops were still held back by Merlin's champion, The Demon! When the end drew near, Merlin summoned his demonic servant and tore a page from his magical tome. He handed the fiend the eldritch text, instructing him to flee into the world and wait for his master's return. The Demon obeyed, and with one final wave of his hand, Merlin razed Camelot to the ground, forcing Morgaine to flee. In the distance the demon crouched, watching the once great kingdom burn in the night, until his body started to change against his will, and his memory left him. The Demon turned into a man, enabling him walk the Earth in mortal guise until he was summoned by Merlin once more.
Theophilus Warly examines a parchment owned by a young demonologist by the name of Jason Blood, claiming it's been in his family for centuries despite showing now signs of age. The phrase written, "yarva Etrigan daemonicus" is one Warly is familiar with and inquires into Blood's interesting in the dark arts. Blood explains that a demon haunts his dreams and seeks answers to the mystery that plagues his life. With little doubt in his mind of who the young stranger is, Warly reveals his true intentions and animates a suit of armour to attack his guest. Jason evades the swinging broadsword and grabs a shield from the wall to defend himself. Desperately he demands to know why Warly is attacking him, but the old man offers none. Jason snatches a burning piece of wood from the fireplace and shows the sorcerer that he is not unskilled in magic himself, causing the hollow knight to explode, knocking Blood unconscious in the blast.
In his fallen state, Jason's unconscious mind flashes with visions of a ghastly monster, fierce and terrifying, leaping through flame, shouting his name... Etrigan!
Warly stands over the stunned body with his mistress, Morgaine le Fey, who has found her adversaries pet after more than a millennium of searching. However, the Demon's memory loss waits for his master's beckon and Morgaine is running out of time to restore her youth, for which she needs the Eternity Book. Warly assures her that Merlin will soon summon his puppet, and Etrigan will lead them straight to their quarry.
A police officer rouses Jason after finding him lying alone in the old Warly Ruins, as he has found many before trying to snoop around the supposed haunted house. Jason can't believe his eyes when he looks upon what is now only rubble of the mansion he was in but an hour ago. The officer explains the Warly house burned down years past and the old man's body was never found.
Across the Atlantic, in the Central European nation of Moldavia, gunshots disturb the eerie silence of the ruins of Castle Branek. Inspector Stavic runs towards the thundering shots and demands to know what the villager is shooting at. In a state of fear, Milovic points out that one of the statues has started walking around. Astounded, the two men follow the golem to an unnatural light illuminating an entrance under the castle grounds. A voice calls out to the unliving statue, leading it out of sight and the entrance vanishes behind it without a trace. Panicked, Milovic implores the Inspector to destroy the unholy site, but Stavic solemnly explains he tried to when he was a young officer, and it only resulted in the loss of his arm.
In the Gotham City Men's Club, Harry Matthews watches as his friends Jason Blood and Singh spar together. Jason holds back the strange events bothering him as his companions urge him to divulge. Jason channels his frustration into his wrestling and manages to get the last throw on Randu. He helps his Indian UN delegate friend up, who tells him he looks forward to Jason's party tonight, and informs him that his wife Gomali is bringing a date for the host.
Glenda Mark looks in awe at the museum that is Jason's apartment, while Harry shows off to his date Mona dressed as a swashbuckler. Glenda can't believe how all the portraits of Jason's ancestors look exactly the same, not to mention how he speaks of Rembrandt as if he knew him personally. The festivities are soon interrupted by a knock at the door, which Jason opens to find a stone statue towering over him. His guest cautiously gather around the mysterious mute visitor who hands Jason a roll of parchment. Upon seeing the significance of the message, Jason agrees with Harry's suggestion to cancel the party for another time. Glenda is disappointed, but voices her interest in meeting Jason again. Once alone with the unliving servant, Jason asks it to escort him to Castle Branek where the answers he's been searching for lie. Little does Jason know, he is being secretly watched from behind a two-way mirror by Morgaine le Fey and Warly in the adjoining apartment, satisfied with the knowledge of Merlin's location.
Jason journeys by plane, train, and finally horseback through the town of Wolfenstag and onward to ominous Castle Branek. As soon as he and his guide arrive on the grounds, they are ambushed by the pitchfork wielding minions of Morgain le Fey. There are too many for Jason to fend off, but the unstoppable brute force of the impenetrable unliving protects him with ease. While Morgaine's pawns are swatted away like flies, Jason hears his name being called from glowing entrance into the ground. He follows the summons of the magical crypt into a realm of the mystic leading to a tomb flanked by gargoyles. The stone grotesques turn their heads and move towards the intruder, but immediately return to their posts, allowing Jason to pass. Jason stands upon the tomb and is drawn towards the archaic inscription;
Change! Change! O' form of man! Release the might from fleshy mire! Boil the blood in heart of fire! Gone! Gone! --- The form of man — ! Rise, the demon Etrigan!!
With the spine-chilling recitation follows an even more horrific transformation, as Jason Blood reverts once more to his hellish appearance. But the change comes too late, as Etrigan turns to the cold laughter of Morgaine le Fey, but hesitates not to dive into the fray with animalistic savagery.
Appearing in "Unleash the One Who Waits"
- Etrigan (First appearance) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Jason Blood (First appearance) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Merlin (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Inspector Stavic (First appearance)
- Milovic (Single appearance)
- Gomali Singh (Single appearance)
- Mona (Single appearance)
- The Unliving
- Rembrandt van Rijn (Mentioned only)
- United States of America
- England (Flashback only)
- Camelot (Flashback only)
- Moldavia (First appearance)
- Castle Branek (First appearance)
- Merlin's Tomb
- Eternity Book (First appearance)
- Warly's Wizardry
- This tells of the original origin where Etrigan was magically transformed into a human who became Jason Blood. Although, as Kirby continues, even he makes the distinction that identity of Jason Blood has become his own person over time. This origin is officially retconned by Zero Hour when Merlin restores Jason Blood's memories, revealing that Etrigan was bound to a mortal host in an attempt to contain his evil (The Demon (Volume 3) #0).
- This issue is reprinted in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5.
- Footnote #1: This page, consisting of four panels, was cut from the original printing. It was finished and included into the story in the collected, "Jack Kirby's The Demon" (2008).
- Randu's wife Gomali was only ever seen once more in The Demon (Volume 3) #23 as a single panel cameo.
- The Demon Recommended Reading
Links and References
- See footnote #1