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Blood Of The Demon #3 - Batman Comics (angel mention)

Wednesday 11 May 2005, by Webmaster

Writer: John Byrne (plot)/Will Pfeifer (script robot) Artist: John Byrne (pencils)/Nekros: defined as destitute, abandoned, deprived, useless, futile, vain, ineffective, powerless and unable to respond (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewed by: Prof. Challenger

Wow! In this latest issue of ANGEL, John Byrne gives us the battle we never thought we’d see: Batman vs. Angelus! Based on the popular but recently cancelled WB television series, you’ll recall that at the end of the previous issue Byrne left us with the cliffhanger of Batman confronting Angelus - the evil version of Angel who’d been running rampage all over Gotham. So, this issue should kick off with that Batman/Angelus battle we’ve all been waiting 30 days for, right?


Splash page focuses instead on Alfred and Batman sitting around talking in the Batcave - which looks like a Tri-D chessboard from Star Trek for some inexplicable reason. But it does give us a chance to read another exciting recap of Angel’s origin. Two whole pages of origin!

Page 4 introduces special crossover guest-star Willow into the story when Batman calls her for some magical help finding Angelus. However, it looks to me like it was just an excuse for Byrne to have the opportunity to draw Willow naked in the shower with strategic soap bubbles blocking out the naughty Vertigo parts. But here’s my question: If magic-girl can basically make anything happen just by saying her magic words, why doesn’t she just make herself clean by speaking an incantation? Also, why does she then do nothing but lounge around in her apartment wearing nothing but a bathrobe for the rest of the comic?

Finally, by page 5 the cliffhanger action picks back up with a nice shot of the bottom of Batman’s boots. Turns out Byrne had done one of those annoying timestep-backwards-schticky-thingees he’s been way overdoing ...oh....since at least SPIDER-MAN: CHAPTER ONE. This time he decided to bore us readers by showing us that before Batman confronted Angelus at the end of issue 2, he and Alfred had a long talk about Angel/Angelus and had to call Willow for help finding him. Apparently, the Dark Knight Detective has trouble following a trail of blood and destruction. Pretty tough to do, all Angelus did was eat the face off a street hoodlum and assault the police in issue two.

Anyway, two more pages of big fightin’ between Angelus and Batman. Lots of different views of the bottom of Batman’s boots. As would be expected though, considering that Angelus has the supernatural strength and speed of a demon without a human conscience, Angelus is kind of beating the snot out of Batman. But the fight scene gets interrupted by a cut to the hospital where Maggie Sawyer (for some reason now a black woman and working in Gotham rather than Metropolis) and Carl Kolchak (apparently now working for a yellow-sheet in Gotham) are recovering from their scary encounter with Angelus back in issue 2. Wesley and Fred arrive on the scene trying to track down Angelus. They are assisted by the soul of Angel who appears as a floating disembodied head urging Wes and Fred on.

More of Batman getting clobbered by Angelus and then that weird demon-dude who caused the reemergence of Angelus back in issue 1 gets his own self killed in a gross way by a shadowy Morgaine le Fay.

Angelus does win the fight with Batman, but doesn’t kill him. This allows us to glimpse a determined Batman hurling himself around the roofs of Gotham with a torn costume muttering "This isn’t over yet."


A little bit more of Wes and Fred. A little bit more of Willow in a bathrobe on the phone with Batman. Exciting. Some bizarre subplot starter about a lady who’s got an actual factual "angel" living in her apartment baking apple muffins for her. What? More Batman fighting Angelus. Willow tries to contact the rest of the Justice League to help Bats, but they’re all too busy with their own problems. Particularly, it looks like Superman is dealing with a really ugly face, Aquaman is dealing with the fact that someone drew him with two normal green-gloved hands rather than the magical bluey hand he has now, and Wonder Woman dealing with eyeballs that have magically reappeared and a few missing stars on her panties.

Finally, the battle between Batman and Angelus comes to an end once Wes and Fred catch up to them. This is because Wes steps right up and speaks the magical incantation that forces Angelus to revert to Angel. Well, needless to say, Batman’s still not too happy about Angel - doesn’t trust that Angelus isn’t going to get loose again and finish tearing up Gotham. So, Batman barks out a 12-hour deadline for Angel and his team to find out just what’s going on or he’s a-comin’ after Angel at the OK Corral!

As an epilogue, we get to see Morgaine le Fey offer one of her face masks to the aforementioned street-hood with the chomped-off face. That’s our setup for the next exciting issue of ANGEL.

Serious point: Back in the day, there was a COMICS JOURNAL interview with Byrne where he mercilessly took apart Roy Thomas for only writing what Byrne called "adaptations." As defined by Byrne, this was Roy taking stories and characters from other media, that Roy personally liked, and "adapting" them into comics rather than coming up with something new (for example, he cited the occasion when Roy took Wagner’s Ring of the Niebelung and turned it into a story arc in THOR.) In fact, Byrne called it "self-indulgent [b.s.]" that had "destroyed [Roy] as a writer." Using his own term definitions, can someone tell me how John Byrne’s BLOOD OF THE DEMON qualifies as anything more than a self-indulgent, thinly-disguised "adaptation" of ANGEL?

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