Wednesday, November 28, 2012

4 Devil's Quest, Volume II

Last time, I felt so much shame in telling you guys that this Blue Devil fan only had one of his appearances. I've remedied that, since then -- so much that I'm going to split my acquisitions into two posts!

When I decided to do these "Devil's Quest" posts, I figured that it would be a long-term project. If for nothing else than the financial reasons, it would be a big endeavor to collect every appearance and every piece of Blue Devil merchandise. Looks like the holiday season was a good time to start trying, though, because I've already had some help -- and found some great deals!

Click to enlarge it!
That is almost every issue of Shadowpact! A relative saw it on ebay listed as "full run", and while I love it, the listing was wrong. It's missing the last issue, and my trip to Danger Room Comics today (a trip which will be detailed in Vol. III) proved unsuccessful in that regard. It looks like I might have to try and find a good price on Amazon or eBay or something, if I want a copy of Shadowpact #25.

Each of these issues is in great condition, too! I'm not going to attempt to grade them, but let's just say that I'm happy that they were bagged and boarded when they were mailed. Really, the thought of leaving them in there so they stay pretty did occur, but that would make it a lot harder to read them!

Next volume: The (Blue) Devil's in the details!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

0 DC Universe Presents #14


Writer - Marc Andreyko
Pencils - Robson Rocha
Inks - Oclair Albert
Cover - Ryan Sook
Letters - Dezy Sienty

In a fit of rage, Blue Devil goes after his grandfather's attackers. He captures one and finds out that Tobias Whale sent them to kill Blue Devil and Black Lightning, and arrives just in time to save him -- who barely talks him out of killing his grandfather's murderer. Seventy-six hours later, after giving a touching speech in rememberance of Liam Cassidy, Dan sees Jeff Pierce, an old friend from high school. When the two are away from the rest of the mourners, Dan reveals that he knows Jeff's secret identity as Black Lightning, and reveals his own as the Blue Devil. The two meet up at Graveyard Pictures, where Dan finds out in a letter from his grandpa that the "props" in his films were magical relics, and he made cheesy movies to keep the world safe. Elsewhere, Tobias Whale uses one of the relics, stolen by one of the goons sent to kill Blue Devil, to summon the demon Nebiros!

This issue had SO MUCH STUFF going on. It definitely felt better-paced than the last issue, because the plethora of details and exposition packed in to this issue didn't really feel too rushed or forced. The story has come half-circle now, featuring a prominent Black Lightning villain, and the very demon who bonded Dan Cassidy to his suit in the original Blue Devil comic series! And if that extra-long paragraph above this one isn't any indication, there was a lot to talk about aside from that.

It's interesting to see the way that the suit, actually the skin of a demon, interacts with Dan. Really, I'd go so far as to say "takes over", at one or two points, like when he almost killed Whale's goon. That's a hell of a dynamic if the character sticks around with any appearances beyond these few issues of DC Universe Presents. I like that he's got actual superpowers when he wears the suit. In the 80s, it was a suit that he'd created, and his method of flying initially was basically holding on tight to a rocket-powered trident. Now, in Dan's own words...
"Somehow, when I wear it, I can fly, I'm bulletproof, I can make fire".
On to the art... Once again, the Robson/Albert combination on pencils and inks looks great, and Eltaeb's colors suit the story well. When Dan's losing control, you can feel it in the art. The panels of him going after Whale's goons are panels that I want to see on my wall, mostly because they're large individual pieces, and have Blue Devil looking pretty badass. I'm not as thrilled with the cover, but that's mostly because it feels like it has nothing to do with the story... save for Nebiros showing up for a few panels.

Maybe I'm getting a bit too optimistic, but I'm looking forward to seeing what these next two issues bring us. It's pretty obvious that a confrontation is coming up between Nebiros and Blue Devil, who Nebiros most likely assumes is a proper demon. If that's the case, I'm picturing a 2012-updated version of their fight from 1984 -- some sort of demon-killing ability might just end up turning Daniel into the demon he's pretending to be. Well... maybe it'll be something a bit better than that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

0 DC Universe Presents #13


Writer - Marc Andreyko
Pencils - Robson Roycha
Inks - Oclair Albert
Cover - Ryan Sook
Letterer - Wes Abbott

In downtown Los Angeles, a shady deal is being done. Before it can be finished, however, Blue Devil tells them that "these dogs know their days are numbered". After he starts to fight the gangsters, he finds out (the hard way) that his suit is fireproof. Black Lightning and Blue Devil fight it out after B.L. mistakenly thinks that he works for someone named Tobias Whale, a Kingpin-esque character. The L.A.P.D. shows up to arrest them both, and we get a peak into Black Lightning's daily life before we meet Tobias Whale. Whale isn't happy to have costumed heroes in his city, and sets a plan in motion to keep them from interfering.

I loved the inclusion of Whale, a Black Lightning villain who has been around for a while. Between that and the many other allusions to what has come before for both characters, this issue left me feeling content with it. Sure, it wasn't a great issue, but it was still a good read and pretty to look at. Look at that cover! I'm a fan of most of Sook's covers, and this is no exception.

The art was definitely this issue's strong point. It was fun, it had an impact, and sucked you in to the issue despite an overall uneventful first-issue story. The very different look for Blue Devil finally got to see some action, and definitely helped me warm up to it. He's a bit less bulky than he was in the 90s and during the "Shadowpact" era, and can more believably maneuver like he does in his fights this issue. And that last page, with Daniel holding his dead grandfather and shouting at the murderers? Damn.

I wish we'd gotten a bit more out-of-costume stuff, but this issue, they gave that all to Black Lightning.  Overall, I think this issue's writing would've been helped by an extra issue tacked on to the "Black & Blue" story. The pacing would likely have worked a bit better, and we would have had more than two pages

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Devil's Quest, Volume I

Welcome to an ongoing feature, here at Sympathy for the Devil. What is that feature, you ask?

(Original picture's source)
Devil's Quest is going to be about my ever-increasing Blue Devil collection, from action figures to comics and anything else that I can find to show my support for everyone's favorite dark-hued demon! Currently, Infinite Crisis is the only appearance that I own, but I've read the majority of the stuff he's been in over the last decade and a half.

I'll have a new addition in the upcoming weeks: the entire run of Shadowpact! I've read Shadowpact before, and enjoyed most of the run, so I'm thrilled to finally own it. That series is what ignited my love of the Blue Devil character. I had to find out more after seeing the Shadowpact team members on a page of Infinite Crisis.

So, anyone else out there have any Blue Devil merch? Or titles with appearances from him? Let me know in the comments below, so I know who/what to be jealous of.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

0 Blue Devil coasters? Sign me up!

If you're having some of your nerdy friends (or crafty friends, or nerdy crafty friends) over, there are much more subtle ways to impress than just your awesome collection of Silver Age comics and limited-run Mego toys. You don't even have to bust any of that out, if you're willing to shell out a few bucks for something that -- in my opinion -- is well worth it.

Blue Devil coasters.

Yeah. They're a thing.

I'm not going out and buying these yet, but as soon as I can, I am adding these to my collection. Sure, the seller has a bit of an error -- she says "from a 1970s Blue Devil comic book", but all of us B.D. fans know that his series started in '84. I'm not going to hold it against her, though. Look at that collar... it's pretty disco.

They're pretty beautiful, and it looks like they hold a variety of cups well, so they're a good size. If anyone wants to get me some for the holidays... I won't complain!

Now if only I could get some with some good pictures from Shadowpact....

(Thanks to Shagg for the hat-tip!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

4 Sympathy for the Devil

BlueDevilWho doesn’t love Blue Devil?
Apparently, a lot of people, if the astounding lack of web presence is an indication. Look at that picture over there – you’ve made Dan sad from lack of attention! Sure, maybe that’s a little melodramatic, but he works in the entertainment industry. Would it be totally unsurprising for him to be a little high-maintenance, too?
My name is Justin, and I’m a Blue Devil fan. Since the only site I could find for the character hasn’t been updated in over half a decade, I took it upon myself to start this one. And by “took it upon myself”, I mean that I let Chad and Shagg convince me that my idea was a good one. So, you know, if it sucks, blame them! In the mean time, prepare for some posts about why Blue Devil is awesome, reviews of new and old issues, and much, much more. For now, though, I’m going to bury myself in behind-the-scenes work… again. :)

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