Review: Demon-Hunter #1

Demon-Hunter #1 cover
Cover by Rich Buckler

Demon-Hunter #1
Published and © by Atlas (Seaboard), September 1975

Title: “The Harvester of Eyes!”
Synopsis: Double-crossed by a cult, Vietnam veteran Gideon Cross must try to stop xenogenesis – the rebirth of the demon race!

Writer (plot): Rich Buckler
Writer (script): David Anthony Kraft
Artist: Buckler

Review: Demon-Hunter #1 is an odd comic: its plot is tough to follow, its hero hard to love. But it’s obvious creator Rich Buckler has great affection for the material. While the artist’s later Bronze-era work could seem uninspired, his early work was thick with potential. As with his Deathlok serial for Marvel, it’s Buckler’s storytelling that stands out here: Different size panel rules, black page backgrounds, a page sporting 27 panels. Buckler’s rendering might not be the best – his inking is particularly flat here – but this is clearly the work of an artist committed to the concept.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “One of Atlas’ worthier efforts.” – Frank Plowright, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983

Cool factor: Buckler’s page layouts. Not everything works and they owe a little too much to Steranko at times, but it’s nice to see the artist experimenting.

Notable: Like this character? Buckler later revisits the concept as Devil-Slayer for Marvel, and again as Bloodwing for his own Galaxia Magazine.

Character quotable: “Naked unto the Earth were you born, Gideon Cross – and so shall you be reborn into the service of the cult!” – one of the Harvesters of Night (it’s a cult, ya’ know)

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Aug. 4, 2009.

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