HELLSTORM #12-14 (1994): 1st Jaine Cutter; Hellcat dies

This is an early Ellis work, but much of his tropes are here. It doesn’t pick up where last issue left off–with Damon and his dad (Satan)–about to get into a fight. Instead, we’re past that event and in the aftermath, and the details of the confrontation are gradually revealed.

Complex narrative, tying the canon in on Ellis’ own terms. That’s another Warren Ellis trope.

It’s also very violent, and graphic (at least in the telling, if not the imagery). Classic Ellis.

Someone is killing magic users, in homage to a demon who directly serves Satan. Gargoyle and Hellstorm get involved in the investigation–making some enemies on the police force along the way.

There are angels in the mix, too, who are trying to kill the killer–along with satanists who are in league with the killer. That’s where we meet Jaine Cutter…

She’s protecting the satanist from the angels, as part of a deal with the Demon–a deal that gave her the power to kill both angels and demons. By the end of the story, she’s betrayed the demon and helps Hellstrom kill him.

And then the most shocking part of this story: Taking a very fresh view of the old character Deathurge, Warren Ellis kills Hellcat–Damon’s wife.

She has been in a coma after bringing Son of Satan back to Earth, but she wakes up and regrets having done it–saying that since his return, Damon has done nothing but create horror.

I’m vastly oversimplifying–this is a complex story that, in a mere three issues, creates practically unlimited potential for this comic.

On the letters page, Warren Ellis describes his ambitions for this series. This was his first ongoing comic book and his goals are lofty–but even he recognizes that in all likelihood the book will be cancelled in six months.

He’s off by three months. The book will be cancelled with #21.

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