Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Demon Hunter: Back in the Day Before Dark

The short-lived Atlas line was dark before dark was cool, let alone done to death. One of their comic book protagonists actually ate people, after all.
Better ideas also came from the 1970s comics publisher, and one of them was Rich Buckler and David Anthony Kraft’s Demon Hunter — a character so good, in fact, he wouldn’t stay dead, and was reincarnated under the thin disguise of Devil Slayer at Marvel Comics.
In his first and last issue, published in September 1975, Gideon Cross was a former hitman with a mission: to destroy the demon-worshipping cult that had recruited and empowered him. Telepathic, Cross could make his cape and body suit appear to be ordinary business attire or even become invisible. His Shadow Cloak was a dimensional portal that permitted him instant access to any weapon he desired, among other things.
Calling it one of the best Atlas/Seaboard comics, the Diversions of the Groovy Kind website enthused, “Just dig Demon Hunter’s cape. Yeah, we’ve seen capes that could lead to other dimensions (Cloak, Obsidian) and capes that seem to be alive (Spawn), but Buckler’s Demon Hunter did it first — and best! And how many super heroes (supernatural or otherwise) do you know of that were (at least partially) inspired by the music of Blue Oyster Cult?”
Buckler recalled, “My collaborator/writer, David Kraft, wrote the dialogue and narration from my story notes. We were both Marvel guys and fans of the rock band Blue Oyster Cult, but I think between the two of us, I was the only one who understood the alchemical and Freemasonic origins of much of their material. Who knows how much of the occult meanings were actually understood by the songwriters in the band? That’s anybody’s guess.”
“Like Deathlok, the premise for Demon Hunter was probably ahead of it’s time,” Buckler said. “Being the first with an idea or character or concept is not always rewarding or gratifying. The popular versions that come later are usually the ones that people remember or identify as ‘cool’ or original.
“I might sound to some like I am beating my own drum here. Maybe I am, just a little. But I’ve always thought of new concepts or ideas of mine as things that have a life of their own which actually arrive at my ‘address.’ It’s what I call a ‘Eureka moment.’ When that happens, it's almost a magical phenomena — and definitely not something to keep to yourself.”

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