This will be a re-reading project for the series and character of Blue Devil. Included issues will be Fury of Firestorm #24, Blue Devil #1-31, Blue Devil Annual #1, Fury of Firestorm #46-47 and DC Comics Presents #96.

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If you'll forgive me, not so. She was created by her debut story's writer, Will Murray. He talked about it in this interview (link via Wikipedia). Ditko designed her and added her knuckle spike.

Yes, Murray had the initial idea, but Ditko contributed and was allowed to plot the story. I'd still call him one of her creators, and being able to control the direction is ,likely what appealed to Ditko over Blue Devil.

Luke Blanchard said:

If you'll forgive me, not so. She was created by her debut story's writer, Will Murray. He talked about it in this interview (link via Wikipedia). Ditko designed her and added her knuckle spike.

Didn't he create or co-create Speedball?
Randy Jackson said:

Ditko created Squirrel Girl. I'm pretty sure that's the difference.

Blue Devil #1 - "How To Trap A Devil!"
Cover Date: June 1984
Writer: Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin
Artist: Paris Cullins

We encounter explorers approaching an old South American pyramid. We're told it's the fabled ruins of Île Du Diable, the  devil's isle. However, the explorers are spooked by the appearance of a horned blue demon. They've readied a trap for him,  however, and they manage to snare him within some sort of amber netting. The demon tells them they cannot hold him and  quickly proves prophetic as he easily breaks out. The explorers scatter and someone yells "cut!"

On the set, Marla Bloom's nephew is goofing around, but Marla herself is pleased with the take, as she congratulates Dan  Cassidy, the man inside the demon suit, which she refers to as a "blue devil". The man lifts off the headpiece and tells her  that the suit is working perfectly. Marla expresses concerns that he'll be able to lift a nearby boulder (and why wouldn't  they just make one out of papier maché?), but Dan explains that the suit magnifies his own strength by at least twenty times  --he's unsure exactly how much, actually--but he shows her that the boulder in question is no problem.

After Cassidy puts the boulder down, the Cameraman asks about the whereabouts of one of the actors, Wayne. Marla then  comments that another actor, Sharon isn't around either.

Gopher asks Dan if he's heading back to his trailer and offers to go with, but Dan tells him he wants some alone time. We  find out that he's moping a bit about his lack of success with the ladies, in particular the "Sharon" that was being  discussed earlier. He thinks that he can't get up the nerve to tell her that he loves her, and he wonders what she sees in  Wayne in the first place.

Speaking of Wayne and Sharon, they've gone exploring on their own, checking out the pyramid from earlier. They head inside,  and while looking around Wayne finds an odd mask. Sharon looks at the mask and thinks it should fit very nicely into an  indentation in the wall. Wayne notices that the indentation looks to be inside something ilke a door, then Sharon grabs the  mask and places it in the indentation. Bad move, as the door opens, revealing...something called a Nebiros. The creature  speaks, wondering if Wayne and Sharon are there to slake his hunger, as the two actors quickly run away.

Back on the set, Marla and the cameraman Norm are setting up for the next shot when Wayne and Sharon run through telling  everyone to run. Marla realizes they are being pursued by a monster. Security tries shooting it but have no luck. Nebiros  makes short work of the security guards, scattering them like tenpins.

Wayne runs into Norm, who asks him what's going on. Wayne tells him that Sharon set the demon loose. Meanwhile, Sharon runs  to Danny's trailer looking for help. Danny puts on the helmet of the suit and goes to see what's going on. Marla tells Norm  to film whatever's happening and tells Dan to get over there. She tells Cassidy that he has to do something. She points out  that he's as powerful as a tank in that suit. When he points out that he really doesn't have any weapons available, she asks  him what Sharon will do when Nebiros gets his hands on her. That convinces Dan, and he attacks Nebiros.

Nebiros thinks Dan is another demon and wonders why he's attacking, referring to Dan as "little brother". They fight as  Marla orders Norm to keep filming. Dan picks up a much larger boulder than before and throws it at the demon, seemingly  stopping it in it's tracks. However, it has little effect, and they continue fighting. Dan attempts to stop Nebiros with a  flamethrower built into his Trident, but Nebiros shrugs off the fire and attacks Dan with some beams from his eyes, knocking  him unconscious.

The crew think Dan is dead, and Nebiros grabs Sharon. As Nebiros turns away, Norm jumps on a nearby bulldozer and attempts  to stop Nebiros. He crashes into Nebiros, annoying the demon who then destroys the bulldozer. Norm survives. A couple of the  security guys call him Mr. Paxton. Marla tells him to grab his camera and continue filming.

Meanwhile, Dan is not quite dead. He doesn't feel to god however, Seeing Nebiros with Sharon, he goes back on the offensive.   As he attacks, Nebiros is shocked, thinking that his mystic blast should have drained all of his occult energy(of course,  he couldn't have suspected that Dan didn't have any occult energy). They fight, and during a brief lull Dan tells Wayne to  get Sharon out of danger. However, Wayne is unable to do anything as he's wracked with fear. Marla is able to help, but she  gives Wayne a good tongue lashing for his cowardice. After they've left, Wayne suddenly has an attack of courage and runs to  get the helicopter and go get help.

Dan and Nebiros continue fighting, and while Dan is able to hold his own, he can't stop him. Nebiros shoots him with his eye  blasts again.

Wayne hears Cassidy's screams and has a true attack of courage. Finding some cable, he forms it into a lasso (he learned how  to do this from an earlier movie role). He manages to rope Nebiros, and with the help of some of the other men is able to  pull him off of Dan for a moment. Nebiros breaks free easily, but it's given Dan the respite he needed. Dan reverses his  trident and hits Nebiros with a rocket blast, which seems to stun the demon momentarily (not sure how this works, since  Nebiros easily shrugged off fire earlier).

Wayne shows Dan where Nebiros came from, and Dan realizes he can probably be sealed within again. Using his trident, Dan  manages to force himself and Nebiros back into the chamber. He tells Sharon to shut the door. She doesn't want to, knowing  Dan will be trapped inside, but he tells her to do it anyway. However the men managed to grabs Dan's legs, and they pull him  free before the portal is sealed.

Afterwards, Marla tells Dan that they got it all on film and that they were going to rewrite the film, casting Dan as the  hero. Gopher tells him he'd make a great super hero. Sharon agrees, but Dan says he's so sore and tired that he can't think  straight, and heads to his trailer. Sharon tells Gopher that Dan's suit is incredible--it was even sweating just now, and  Gopher remarks that it's not supposed to do that.

Back in his trailer, after a brief rest, Dan attempts to remove the suit, to find out that he cannot.

My rating: 8/10

This is a nicely done origin story, made more interesting by the preview in Fury of Firestorm #24. The original idea of  making him a man inside a suit was pretty nice, but sealing him inside gives him a little more pathos. However, the pathos  doesn't get in the way of the story being fun, as it easily could have. As I understand it, Jenette Khan made them redo the  issue after it's first submission, as she felt it was too mopey for the comic that was going to "Make Comics Fun Again". I'd  have to say that it was a good decision.

Cohn, Mishkin and Culins do a great job of introducing much of the supporting cast as well as defining who they are quickly:  hero-worshipping Gopher, No-Nonsense Marla, steady and dependable Norm, and ne'er-do-well Wayne who actually comes through  in the clutch. Credit also for the creation of Nebiros, who's a quality foe for Dan.

I have to give a lot of credit to Paris Cullins as well. One of the things that Cohn and Mishkin raved about was his ability  to draw goofy, mugging faces but also still get the action scenes right, and Mr. Cullins does a great job of that here. His  pencils have a simple, easily flowing cartoonish line, but he also draws nice, easy to follow fight scenes.

DC's tagline for this comic was that it would make comics fun again, and I cannot disagree.

Randy Jackson said:

DC's tagline for this comic was that it would make comics fun again, and I cannot disagree.

Agreed.  Very entertaining.  Good story with a compelling cliffhanger.  I found the supporting characters to be interesting in their own right as well.  I also thought at the time, and still feel today, that Paris Cullins was an underrated artist.

Something odd is going on John. This is all I can see of your reply, and I know there's more.

John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

Randy Jackson said:

Very odd. That's all I can see on my computer, but my phone has his reply.

Yes, I can see your reply on my phone.

Randy Jackson said:

Something odd is going on John. This is all I can see of your reply, and I know there's more.

John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

Randy Jackson said:

DC's tagline for this comic was that it would make comics fun again, and I cannot disagree.

Agreed.  Very entertaining.  Good story with a compelling cliffhanger.  I found the supporting characters to be interesting in their own right as well.  I also thought at the time, and still feel today, that Paris Cullins was an underrated artist.

Blue Devil #2 - "Get Me Outta Here!"
Cover Date: July 1984
Writer: Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin
Artist: Paris Cullins

Outside of STAR labs in Metropolis, an armored figure approaches the building at night. Smashing through the front door and  destroying an important security panel, the figure enters the building. Walking into the security station, he asks the not  very attentive guard where he can find the radiation lab. The guard gives him instructions, and the armored man tells him to  tell them that Shockwave's coming.

As Shockwave heads for the radiation lab, the security guard suddenly realizes what's happening and calls out a general  alarm. However, STAR's security is no match for Shockwave, who easily disperses of the guards and other defenses. He then  enters the radiation lab.

Elsewhere in Metropolis, Dan Cassidy is surrounded by fans and media who think he's doing a publicity stunt for the upcoming  movie, but he actually just needed some air. He manages to escape the crowd by using his trident to get up to the rooftops  and heads on his way in that fashion. However, he encounters a couple of tourists being mugged by what appears to be the  Three Stooges. He quickly stops the muggers, and leads the tourists to the Village. When one of them asks, he confirms that  he is Superman.

After leading the tourists to their destination, he wanders into a nearby arcade where he notices a pinball machine with art  that looks just like Nebiros. Because of his appearance, his bout of bathos is interrupted when he's asked to leave.

Dan then wanders over to a bar, Sam's Place, before he heads home. He's quickly recognized as Dan Cassidy despite being  inside the suit. The bartender, Sam, asks him about the suit, and Dan explains about being stuck inside. A quick flashback  shows how Dan visited a doctor who told him that the suit and Dan Cassidy are one and the same.

After the bar, Dan returns home to a row of rowhouses that he bought before. He hears the phone ring and bounds up the  stairs to his apartment, accidentally tearing off the door in the process. It's Marla Bloom on the other end, complaining  about the "free publicity" he just gave. Dan turns on the news, but ignores what's happening as some monster picture. Dan  asks how things are going in Hollywood, but they all tell him that they're more worried about him and all willing to go  spend time with him in Metropolis.

Suddenly Dan feels a tremor. Looking out his window, he sees Shockwave and the police in a pitched battle.  Dan hangs up to  see what's going on outside. However, as soon as he gets outside, Shockwave grabs his building and destroys it.

Dan is obviously peeved that Shockwave destroyed his building. The police see him and hope he's a superhero. Dan tries to  avoid the fight, but Shockwave punches him into the wall, and it's fight on. One quick punch from Dan sends Shockwave flying  into the park. Dan tells the cops to cordon off the park and goes in pursuit.

In the park, Shockwave is ripping up a landmark fountain. Dan stops him from destroying it completely. They fight, and this  time it's Dan who's knocked out of the park. He flies over a white van with a STAR labs logo on the side. The passengers  exit and ask Dan if he's okay. One of them introduces herself as Dr. Jenet Klyburn, Director of STAR labs. Dan asks her if  she's going to ask him to go back and fight Shockwave more. She tells him that Shockwave has stolen something very valuable,   a form of 'Super-Kryptonite' they've developed. Dan quickly figures out that with this Super-K Shockwave could take out  Superman, so he must be stopped. Dan heads back to the fight.

Back in Los Angeles, Marla is on the phone with one very angry producer who's extremely peeved that Cassidy is running  around unauthorized in a suit paid for by his studio and technically his intellectual property. Meanwhile, Sharon asks  Gopher how Dan gets into a situation like the current one, and Gopher tells her that if you look like a superhero people  start treating you like one, and you start acting like one. The producer is having none of it as Dan is ruining a well  prepared advertising campaign, and if Marla can't get Dan to cease and desist, she'll never work for him again. They hang  up, and Marla tells Gopher she's going to have to do something she's going to hate herself for. She calls up a law firm.

Back in Metropolis, the fight continues. Dan launches an attack that hurts Shockwave, who activates his suit to cause an  earthquake. That's exactly what Dan wanted to happen, because now he can see how Shockwave's suit works and how to disable  it, which he does. However, Shockwave still has some power left. Dan manages to smash a lamp post and use the wires inside  to electrocute Shockwave, but that only seems to make him angrier. They continue to fight when someone else enters the  fight, namely Shockwave's boss.

The boss has one of those nifty non-aerodynamic flying ships that are all the rage in comic books, and plans to pick up  Shockwave with a tractor beam. However, Shockwave has turned his head, and Dan lays him down for the count. However, the  tractor beam snags Shockwave.

Dr. Klyburn tells Dan that he has to retrieve the Super-K. With a mighty jump, he manages to locate and take the canister on  Shockwave's belt. Given the quickly arriving police, the aircraft leaves with Shockwave shaking his fist at Blue Devil.

Dr. Klyburn asks Dan if there's anything STAR labs can do for him, and he asks her to get him out of his suit. She's about  to take him away to STAR labs when a guy in a suit comes up and gives Dan papers from Marla Bloom Associates and Verner  Brothers films enjoining him from further displays of the Blue Devil suit.  Dan hangs the guy from the nearest lamp post and  drives off to STAR labs. No one will help him down until he stops yelling threats about Blue Devil and admits that it was  Shockwave that hung him up there.

My rating: 8/10

This is a fun little romp, I have to say. The real star of this comic is Paris Cullins, who does a bang up job with the  fight sprawling across Metropolis as well as Shockwave and his design. shockwave is particularly impressive, as he's both  menacing and comical at the same time, something that Cohn and Mishkin have stated is a particular skill of Mr. Cullins.

I liked the fact that Dan isn't allowed to wallow in self-pity in this comic series--it just wouldn't work. He's so much  more enjoyable as a guy who's put upon to do things he doesn't want to, but just goes and does them rather than whine about  it too much.

If I had one quibble, I'd say that there was some groundwork missed in previous stories about Dan being from Metropolis in  the first place. It's easy enough to pick up, but it could have been handled better. 

Agree about this being a fun romp.  The battle last issue with Nebiros was intense, but this was different - still intense, not as dark.  I found Shockwave reminded me of the Rhino - probably because BD was quipping like Spidey a bit.  Shockwave was also a bit dim like ol' Rhino - claiming he won the fight when he clearly didn't.  He didn't get the best of BD physically and Dan got the Super-K back from him.

Also agree about Paris Cullins.  I've said before the guy is underappreciated, and he did a great job here, especially with facial expressions, always the mark of a good artist.  I give kudos to Cohn and Mishkin as well; they're telling a great story and doing all the little things right.  The supporting cast is interesting and they're filling in Dan Cassidy's background a bit at a time.  I prefer a slow reveal to an infodump anyway.

Blue Devil #3 - "Heart of Stone!"
Cover Date: August 1984
Writer: Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin
Artist: Paris Cullins

Dan is being examined at STAR labs as the technicians marvel over his suit. Dan just wants the suit off. We get some quick exposition bringing the reader up to speed.

Metallo is dressing down Shockwave for bungling last issue's burglary, as the Super Kryptonite he was trying to steal would have given Metallo the means to defeat Superman. He asks a couple of his henchmen--Smithers and Rojek--if he's right, to which they both agree (We'll be seeing more of these two in later issues). Metallo decides to take things into his own hands and retrieve the Super Kryptonite himself.

Over at WGBS, one of Clark Kent's coworkers is telling him all about the battle between Blue Devil and Shockwave. Kent asks his coworker Glenn what it was all about, and Glenn tells him it was about some special Super Kyrptonite, alarming Kent.

In Hollywood, Marla Bloom is attempting to convince Jock Verner to call off the legal team until they can work things out with Cassidy. Apparently Verner doesn't realize that Dan is trapped inside the suit. She tells him that Sharon is flying to Metropolis to keep Dan company.

At the Los Angeles airport, Norm is there to see Sharon off. He tells her she doesn't have to go, but she tells him that it's her fault that he's stuck in the suit, and despite the fact that he told them all to stay away, he was just frightened. A flashback shows that Dan essentially confesses his love for Sharon to her, and laments that he can't be with her since he's now a Blue Devil.

Back at STAR labs, Dr. Klyburn tells Dan he can get dressed now as they're through with their tests. He asks her how long it will take to get results, and she tells him they don't know enough about magic to be able to give him a direct answer.

Outside of STAR, Smithers and Rojek land Metallo's flying saucer on the roof. They land quietly, but because of the amplifiers built into the suit, Dan hears them land.

Metallo's men attack, and Blue Devil takes them out pretty easily. However, Metallo stops the fight by telling Blue Devil that if he doesn't stop, he'll kill all of the people there. Metallo also introduces himself as the man with the Kryptonite heart. Dan stops fighting, and Metallo's men grab the Kryptonite and give it to him. As he mentions that he now has the ability to destroy Superman, Dan attacks but is shot by Smithers and Rojek.

Dr. Klyburn thinks they've killed Dan. One of Metallo's men tells him that the building is surrounded by cops and that Superman is approaching. Metallo tells them to grab Blue Devil's body, and that he'll prepare his own reception for Superman. He then inserts the Kryptonite into his heart, giving him tremendous power.

As Superman approaches, Metallo shows off his newfound power by irradiating the entire STAR labs facility with Kyrptonite radiation. Superman barely pulls up in time to avoid being poisoned.

Meanwhile, Smithers and Rojek are lugging Blue Devil's body back to their ship. While they gripe about what it's like to work for a supervillain, we see Blue Devil's body repairing the damage from their previous laser blsts. As the henchman are taking a break, he takes them out.

Back downstairs, Metallo is making demands. He wants Superman to surrender to him and expose himself to the Kryptonite or he'll kill all of the hostages. He tells his men to put the prisoners in the main vault as he begins monologuing. Meanwhile, Blue Devil is taking out his men. When the hostages have been freed, Blue Devil faces Metallo.

Metallo sics his men on Blue Devil, but they're no match for him. Some of his men have portable flying platforms, but Blue Devil uses a special light effect to blind the men driving them and then takes them out, leaving just him and Metallo.

At the airport, Sharon has arrived. She sees a news report telling her that Blue Devil is fighting Metallo at STAR labs, and she catches a cab to get there.

Outside of STAR labs, the hostages exit the building. News reporters want to interview them, and they tell them that Blue Devil is taking on Metallo and his gang. Superman is watching from outside, and worries that Blue Devil won't be able to handle Metallo.

Inside, Blue Devil attacks Metallo. He's holding his own when Metallo extends his arms and attempts to strangle Blue Devil. However, Dan just smashes one of his arms. Blue Devil then tells Metallo he talks too much. Since he's been boasting about having a Kryptonite heart, what would happen if someone took it from him--at which point, Blue Devil smashes through his armor and takes the Kryptonite, and Metallo collapses.

Dr. Klyburn quickly takes the Kryptonite and puts it back inside its container, explaining that Metallo's systems would keep him alive without his heart, but non-functional. Dan just realizes he wasn't fighting a robot.  Smithers and Rojek show up again, shooting at Blue Devil and Dr. Klyburn, but Superman shows up to take them down.

Dan is gobsmacked to actually meet Superman. Superman thanks him for defeating Metallo, then asks Dr. Klyburn the million dollar question--just what is STAR labs doing with Super Kryptonite. She has to explain that they developed it as a deterrent against--an escaped Phantom Zone villain. It's happened before, and could happen again, right? Superman tells her they'll talk about it later, but he owes Blue Devil a favor. Dan explains what's happened to him, and Superman tells him that although magic and demons aren't that well known to him he knows someone that could potentially help him.

Sharon's cab pulls up to STAR labs. As she gets out, she sees Dan flying away with Superman.

My rating: 8/10

Some more fine work by Paris Cullins here. He manages to make Smithers and Rojek both comical and menacing at the same time, and his depiction of Metallo is pretty good too (I have to confess, Metallo's one of those villains I know very little about, especially when it comes to the various things that have happened to him over the years). There's lots of good action and a little bit of tension with the hostage situation as well.

There's plenty of gags to go along with the action as well, and the development of some new subplots. It's nice to see some new developments, but not so many that they overwhelm the primary story.

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