DC Comic Conjecture: Blue Devil

Comic Conjecture: Blue Devil

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For those of you who enjoy obscure comic books, few are more obscure in the body of DC’s rich world as Blue Devil. In the new 52, Blue Devil has made only a short appearance alongside Black Lightning in the series DC presents.

With the events that take place, we see a couple of new developments as opposed to his old origin in the pre 52. First of all, the suit is made of an actual demon’s skin, originally ripped off by Etrigan at some point in the past. Second, he loses control to his infernal outfit, much like the Hood from Marvel comics.

 

Instead of just working for a movie studio as a stuntman and special effects man, Dan Cassidy’s uncle leaves him a warehouse and studio renowned for B-rate movies. The explanation here is that the items in the warehouse are all powerful magical artifacts, and the uncle has been using poorly made B-movies to diminish peoples fear of them, hence reducing their power.

Since this small miniseries, we have heard neither hide nor hair of what could come next, if anything, for our Demonic Do-gooder. From where I’m sitting, it looks like all of the groundwork has been done for at least a few miniseries, if not an ongoing series.

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First, lets talk about the mission of the uncle. To gather and safeguard these dangerous magical items, as well as trying to destroy them, is an excellent proactive mission for a super hero. The days of a hero just patrolling the streets carrying enough interest to drive a new face have passed. Look at the success of the CW series Arrow. Despite running into a lot of this troubles and enemies, Oliver Queen has a book full of names that he is hunting down for their crimes against Starling city. With the three fold mission, you could have Dan making trips out of his city to acquire dangerous artifacts, dealing with thefts from enemies, and the personal drama of a day job he has fallen into that is more than he can handle; making movies. The dramatic angle offers the introduction of some of the old staples of the pre 52 series, Marlene Bloomberg and her nephew, Eddie.

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Second, the connection between Etrigan and the Blue Devil suit could bring back the popular rivalry between the two characters that was showcased in the Shadowpact and Reign in Hell. With the structure of the new 52, this could bring him into the circles of Constantine and Justice League Dark.

For my third point, lets focus on just the warehouse of magical “props”. We know that this particular story hook is popular, due to the success of Syfy’s Warehouse 13. Just the maintenance of the kind of objects you’d find in the warehouse from the end of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc alone can offer more than enough conflict for an ongoing series, especially with the greater lore of the DC universe involved.

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One could argue that the lack of larger villains, such as the demon that Daniel wears the skin of (who they defeated in the mini series), could hold this character back. In fact, in his original run he was pitted against the Rouges, which are primarily Flash villains, which didn’t solve the problem, but made it worse.

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I’d solve this problem with one villain that already existed in pre 52 and a brand new one. Doctor Gotham, a remarkably powerful sorcerer who garnered all of his power from hoarding a nearly infinite number of magical items in his magical cloak feels tailor made to this particular incarnation of the Blue Devil. A man with more knowledge of items, the means to try and take them, and a collection of his own that need the B-movie treatment, is the perfect recurring villain and end game big bad.

As far as an original villain, I was thinking more of a rival. A stuntman working for the studio that Mr. Cassidy has inherited, who is jealous of his “good” fortune, or Cassidy’s relationship with some leading lady, or any other reason for jealousy really. He could either, try and steal something to get back at his boss, or make a deal with an angel to become a villain similar in power and origin of the Blue Devil.

The myriad of magical items that could be stored in that warehouse could offer dozens of lesser villains, or even greater mastermind like threats, into the series. Place themed items in it, and you could cross over with any number of other series. For instance, an owl mask with a kind of transformative or omniscient power could tie him into the batman mythos, as the Court of Owls or Talon might want it.

For what it’s worth, I feel that introducing this character early was an amazing idea, but now it is time to follow through!  Of course my enthusiasm may be answered already.  I leave you with this image from Arrow, an ad from the side of a passing bus.  Is Dan trying to make his suit weaker, by making a B movie, so he can take it off?  Lets hope so!

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