In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconning away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Reader Che M. (at least I think that's their first name. I wasn't sure) wrote in to ask, "I read the Matt Wagner Demon series last year and it ended with Entrigan separated from Jason Blood. I can't find how or when they were reintegrated into one character. Can you help?"
Okay, just in case you're unfamiliar with the Demon, it was this amazing Jack Kirby comic book series about a demon named Etrigan that was bonded by Merlin (during the time of Camelot) to one of King Arthur's knights, Jason Blood, to sort of trap Etrigan.
Hundreds of years later, Blood is a prominent demonologist. He has been trapped with an inability to die, but so long as he lives, Etrigan remains trapped. That is, until Blood discovers a spell that, well, just look at it, "Gone! Gone! O form of man. And rise the demon Etrigan!!" Yep, it releases Etrigan from his bondage (as an aside, I recently wrote about how the first generation of comic book artists, like Jack Kirby, were big fans of comic strips since there were no comic books at the time. Well, Kirby was such a big Hal Foster fan that the face of Etrigan is literally taken from a mask that was used in one of Foster's Prince Valiant comic strips. It's fascinating to think about Kirby as just a "fan," ya know?).
Anyhow, after the series ended, the character was not used much until Alan Moore brought him back to prominence in the pages of his Swamp Thing series. The great writer/artist Matt Wagner then began working on a miniseries starring the Demon. It was delayed and did not come out until 1987.
The idea behind the series is that Jason's girlfriend, Glenda, is trying to get Jason to try to end the curse. Jason is hesitant, but finally agrees. The final issue sees Jason capturing Merlin and then weakening the wizard enough for Etrigan to free himself from Jason, at which point Etrigan suggests that he might have manipulated them this whole time just to get free...
It sure seems to suggest a follow-up, right? But there was none.
That was 1987.
Etrigan, now free of Jason, made appearances during Millennium #8 (by Steve Englehart, Joe Staton and Ian Gibson) (where he reacts to the formation of the New Guardians)...
And Etrigan meets up with Phantom Stranger in Swamp Thing #76 when Swamp Thing and Abby were trying to make a baby, with John Constantine as Swamp Thing's stand-in...
Okay, that brings us up to 1988. What next?