Blue Devil #1 (June, 1984)


And just like that–he’s got his own book!

When we last left our hero, he had foiled the Trickster (somewhat clumsily) using the powers imbued by his self-invented Blue Devil costume. Wayne Tarrant was making unwelcomed advances on Sharon, though convinced she was interested in Danny (“we’re just friends”, she said incredibly convincingly), Norm liked to sit behind cameras, Gopher was Danny’s biggest cheerleader, and Fred was a pretty decent security guard, so long as super-villains weren’t involved.

Now, we’re into the filming, though–Marla Bloom (oh, right–she does have a last name, incidentally) is clearly directing, even if she’s “just” the producer, as Danny cackles and chews scenery evil-ly. It’s Gopher who ruins the shot, but free time means Wayne, in one of the more misinformed romantic attempts of the bd1ftworld, leads Sharon to an abandoned temple in their on-location shoot. While Tarrant has some second thoughts, Sharon seems to have a flashback to preschool and cannot resist putting an object into a whole shaped like it, unwittingly releasing the demon Nebiros.
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Because no one knows how to contact the JLA or Doctor Fate, Danny’s left to hesitantly pursue heroics again, at the behest of Marla’s quick-thinking insistence. Nebiros is befuddled by this tiny demon attacking him, and attempts to sap away his occult powers with a blast that leaves Danny down for the count (well, that was a short run, I guess). Norm takes up the heroics after the fall (he’s not just going to sit behind cameras forever, hooray!), and drives a bulldozer into the demon, because that’s what you do in these sorts of situations.

Unsurprisingly, construction equipment is not the secret weakness of demons, but this does give Danny a chance to stand up (oh! it will last more than one issue! hooray!) and fight back again. Wayne fights to overcome his cowardice (it’s a giant demon, to be fair, though), and they eventually all work together to force the demon back from whence it came. And no one’s even left holding a little girl’s arm attached to nothing and gibbering their way into a mental hospital!

Marla, of course, has kept the cameras rolling and is completely cogent, inspite of the madness-inspiring events of the day, and is immediately re-writing the plot to make the Blue Devil a misunderstood hero. Oh, Marla.

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Then again–Danny has discovered (after Marla notices his costume is so amazing it sweats!) that he’s trapped in the Blue Devil costume! Gosh, guys, I guess they were right that we figured everything wrong after that preview story! I mean, assuming you knew nothing about this 30 year old character, anyway. Which is actually not the most unsafe bet. Bet this will make his crush on Sharon interesting, huh?

Cohn and Mishkin worked in a good bit of fun for a book intended to not be about angst (ever–so sayeth editor Alan Gold on the final page’s “Hey, we don’t have a letters page, yet” letter page), and Paris keeps it breezy and fun, but with some cool designs and pencils (I really, really love how he’ draw’s Danny’s suit, I can’t lie).

Sadly, Danny’s sideburns are scaled back significantly. Budget cuts, I guess.
bd1ad

Bonus! Includes a full-page ad for some character called Blue Devil, who’s going to have a pull-out preview in Fury of Firestorm #24! Awes–wait…

Oh well. I guess you might not have been picking up Fury of Firestorm when you grabbed this #1, or something.

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