"Direction from the Darkness": Merlin is awoken in Hell by his captor, Asteroth. The ancient sorcerer is helpless, surrounded by hawthorn at every angle, piercing his flesh. Asteroth gloats as he shows the helpless old man the events that led t
- I... Have... Had it with all this "doom and self-immolation" routine! What the hell's happened to you? It's not like this problem of yours is brand new, y'know. But suddenly you've turned your back on it! And, damn it, in doing that you've lost all the "old" Jason! My God, Jason, you used to be decisive! Firm! And now you act like the emcee on some late night "ghost host" movie! I just can't believe you would give over without a fight!
Synopsis for "Direction from the Darkness"
Merlin is awoken in Hell by his captor, Asteroth. The ancient sorcerer is helpless, surrounded by hawthorn at every angle, piercing his flesh. Asteroth gloats as he shows the helpless old man the events that led to his torturous predicament.
Jason Blood stands atop the ruins of Tintagel Castle and coldly greets Glenda Mark as she approaches behind him. Jason soon deduces Glenda has taken the Philosopher's Stone from his apartment before following him to England uninvited. She ignores his moodiness to keep her at bay, and shows him a book she found in his library; a book containing the image of the demon, Belial, who bares the distinct likeness of Etrigan. Jason dismisses the image to Glenda's aggravation. With little fight left in him to understand his past and take back his life, Jason humours Glenda's suggestion to ask Etrigan himself for answers.
In a room inside the ruins, Jason instructs Glenda how to draw a binding circle with a piece of limestone. Once complete, she invokes the Demon who immediately tries to pass through the circle, only to find he can't. He is less than happy to be summoned without an enemy to occupy him, but Glenda persuades Etrigan to listen, seeing as freeing Jason will in turn benefit him. She shows him the image of Belial and asks why they look alike. The Demon remains silent until Glenda finally asks the right question. Etrigan informs her that he is magically obliged not to speak of such things, yet there are certain loopholes of which he can skirt. He implies Morgaine le Fey holds the answers, but she is just a statue back in Jason's home. Using the power of the stone, Glenda manages to conjure the statue of Morgaine to Tintagel. Etrigan then tries to trick Glenda, first by asking for the stone to revive Morgaine for answers, then by persuading her to push the statue into the binding circle which would ruin the inscription. Glenda falls for neither, only the statute's hand passes through which Etrigan bites of with laughter. The Demon reveals neither he, nor the stone, can revive Morgaine, as they are subject to Merlin's will, and therefore unable to aid his enemies. Glenda tries to heal the statue and discovers Etrigan speaks the truth. But the Demon does not leave Glenda empty handed, and tells her that two sources hold the answers she seeks, one of which lies buried beneath Daganbrack Tower in Ireland. With his cryptic clue delivered, Etrigan recites the spell to restore Jason.
Together, Jason and Glenda leave for Ireland and journey to Daganbrack. At six o'clock, the Tower's shadow falls on a large rock which conceals a hidden passageway underneath. They follow the long tunnel until they reach a natural plinth on which sits the Book of Belial. They have no time to even pick it up before they are attacked by a guardian demon; a Strangler by the name of Clutcher. The drooling beast craves the feeling of its hands around Glenda's pretty neck. It swats Jason out of the way, breaking some of his ribs. Gasping in pain, Jason summons Etrigan who launches himself at Clutcher trying to asphyxiate his prey.
Appearing in "Direction from the Darkness"
- Morgaine le Fey (Statue only)
- The Kamara (Cameo; in a memory only)
- Shahn-Zi (Mentioned only)
- Klarion the Witchboy (Mentioned only)
- Daganbrack Tower
- United States of America (Mentioned only)
- Philosopher's Stone
- The Book of Belial
- Etrigan's previous publication appearance was in Action Comics #587.
- The statue of Morgaine le Fey is different to that depicted by Kirby in The Demon #16 when Warly transformed her into a sarcophagus.
- Jason (or rather, Wagner) uses the phrase, "grizzle and bone," mistaking "gristle" with "grizzle".
- This issue, unlike the following three issues of the miniseries, was approved by the Comics Code Authority.
- Glenda refers to Louisiana, when Etrigan fought the Kamara alongside Swamp Thing.
- Etrigan mentions, "Yet none's the foe to occupy me... No worm to fight and kill... Ne'r witch boy, nor witch queen..." Etrigan previously fought Shahn-Zi, Klarion the witchboy, and Morgaine le Fey. While the latter two are obvious, "worm" comes from the Germanic/Old English that also meant "snake" or "dragon", and Shahn-Zi battled Etrigan as a cobra.
- The Demon Recommended Reading
- Cosmic Odyssey
- Action Comics (Volume 1) #636 - #641