Sunday, March 14, 2010

Demon Hunter #1 (Atlas/Seaboard, 1975)

As a fan of so-called "dead universes" (i.e., publishers and/or publishing imprints that employed a shared universe concept in their storytelling that are now defunct), over the years I've become a big fan of the Atlas/Seaboard stuff of the 1970s, purely for the cheese factor. Though, admittedly, there were two or three diamonds amongst the rough....and one of 'em was Demon Hunter...

From The Atlas Archives:

Created and plotted by Marvel veteran Rich Buckler, written by David Anthony Kraft (best known for his run on the Defenders), Demon Hunter was one of the most original titles published by Atlas-Seaboard (the character would later resurface as in two different incarnations.)

"What does a Demon Hunter do ?" read the opening page, "Everything he can to prevent Xenogenesis... the rebirth of a demon race here on earth ! His name ? Gideon Cross. He is a telepath."

Empowered by a cult seeking to bring about Xenogenesis, Gideon Cross was empowered with a shadow cloak and new abilities to serve their bidding. He turned against them, however, and became a one-man force against their evil.

Unlike Dr.Strange or Dr. Fate, Demon Hunter was fighting a specific war against a specific evil.

After it's lone Atlas issue, Demon-Hunter was resurrected over at Marvel Comics as Devil-Slayer. Devil Slayer was Eric Simon Payne. He renounced the demon cult that granted him incredible powers and now stood against them. Their goal, Xenogenesis, the rebirth of a demon race on earth.

In 1980, the Rich Buckler published magazine, Galaxia, featured the character Bloodwing. Again, this character is nearly identical to Demon-Hunter. Bloodwing was also known as Gideon Cross.

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