October 31, 2014

The Batman Adventures Annual #2 1995: Demons

After demolishing a building in Gotham, late working citizens within among the casualties, R'as Al Ghul and his men locate an ancient Mayan tablet the villain had searched over two centuries for. Batman attempts to apprehend R'as, but is beaten unconscious and left among the rubble. Escaping with his life, Batman finds his way to the high rise condominium of occult expert Jason Blood, who'd helped Police Commissioner Gordon solve the tarot murder case. 

Blood's experience in the supernatural led the Dark Knight Detective to him, where the famed demonologist recant the tale of his first battle against fellow immortal R'as Al Ghul for possession of the Mayan tablet. The two are abruptly interrupted by Talia, who tranquilizes them so her father's evil scheme to release the pestilent demon Haahk upon mankind will not be foiled!

Finally alone with the tablet, R'as summons the dreaded Haahk from the depths of Hell, who promptly kills the henchmen present. R'as can barely control the demon under possession of the profane tablet, who reluctantly agrees heed the villain's bidding.

When Batman and Jason Blood finally recover from the tranquilizer and race to the scene, Haahk grabs Blood, who begins to rot from the pestilent demon's grip! Batman quickly recites the chant that transforms Blood into Etrigan, the demon bonded to him centuries ago by Merlin the Wizard: "Change, Change, O' Form of Man- Rise the Demon Etrigan!" Together, Batman and Etrigan attack Haahk ...!

 While Etrigan exuberantly blasts away at Haahk, Batman seizes the Mayan tablet from R'as, stopping him from banishing both the demons back to Hell. Hurt by the Dark Knight's attack on her father, Talia slaps her beloved, who says nothing, charging off to assist Etrigan...

After Etrigan uses the tablet to banish Haahk, the demon snaps the evil relic in two, knowing that while his alter ego would have treasured it's rarity, the danger it poses to mankind is far too great.

This spectacular annual ends as Jason Blood revives from his transformation, questioning the whereabouts of Talia, who escaped with her father. When Batman laments in dealing with her hurt feelings the next time their paths cross, Jason Blood offers, "We each have our own demons." A panel at the bottom pays tribute Jack Kirby, the legendary comic artist and author who created Etrigan back in 1972. Artists Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami adopt elements of Kirby's unique style in several panels throughout this issue- undoubtedly making it a special treat for author Paul Dini, as well as us fans of a certain vintage!   

Happy Hallowe'en! 
Thanks For Reading!