What I Remember:
This book was my introduction to the Etrigan: The Demon. I remember that this book featured him beating Batman all over the city. I think most of the book is Batman getting his butt handed to him. Like I said about last week’s entry, I like stories of Batman out of his element, overmatched and out of his comfort zone. Last week’s issue dealt with Batman dealing with an alien invasion and this week features him dealing with a supernatural threat and has to find a way out of a hopeless situation.
Detective Comics #603 “Tulpa, Part 3: When Demons Clash”
Writer: Alan Grant
Penciler: Norm Breyfogle
Colorist: Adrienne Roy
Inker: Steve Mitchell
Lettering: Todd Klien
Associate Editor: Dan Raspler
Editor: Denny O’Neil
Batman Created by Bob Kane
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: August 1989
Cover Price: 75₵
Re-Collection Price: $1.25
The issue begins with Mahakala, a Hindu deity, slamming his axe right through the hood of a cop car. The officers, protecting prisoners, flee to a construction nearby construction site.
Batman catches up to the angry god and hits it with a crane.
He has Randu, a blind mystic, check out the unconscious Mahakala. He warns that the hatred still stirs in the beast.
Batman rolls it into a ditch hoping that it’s the end and Jason Blood watching from his penthouse is glad that his alter ego is no longer needed.
Suddenly, Mahakala hurls his axe collapsing scaffolding onto Batman and Blood knows the demon must be awakened.
Etrigan swoops in as Batman is about to succumb and wallops Mahakala, defeating him with all of the hate in hell.
Etrigan decides to take the two prisoners as a reward for his good work.
Batman tries to stop him and attempts to stop the demon. It doesn’t go well for the caped crusader.
As the Demon begins choking the life out of Batman, he suddenly stops and begins laughing.
Etrigan lets Batman up admiring his moxie and wondering what demon drives him, gives Batman a kiss on the cheek and heads off into the night.
Continued After Ad:
My ability to only collect end of story arcs continues as I come in at the end of a story. I have no idea what Mahakala is, only that he was created by a man and is not the actual Tibetan deity. The book really picks up at the end where the Demon and Batman go at it. The exchange where they go from fighting with all the fires of hell to the Etrigan laughing, impressed by the Batman.
It gives a nice glimpse into the two characters, how the Demon can change moods on the dime, going from violent to mischievous and highlighting how Batman never gives up despite the ever-mounting odds. Alan Grant does a marvelous job of getting out of the fight that Batman has no chance in winning without making Batman look weak.
As always, I love Norm Breyfogle’s art. He’s one of my favorite Batman artists. He made the Demon look menacing and could make Batman emote more than the average artist. As I mentioned in the Anarky issue, found here, he recently suffered a stroke and is unable to keep up with his unsurmountable medical bills. If you’re a fan of Breyfogle’s work. Please donate to the Hero Initiative and help out one of the greatest Batman artists of all time and any other comics creators that have fallen on hard times.
We head over to Metropolis and find out who Cat Grant is getting revenge on and can Mullet-Superman stop her? It's Superman #85! See you next week!