Terror Inc. #1-5 (1992)

I suppose we should be grateful that a new series is launched without Spider-Man, Ghost Rider or Wolverine appearing in the first five issues. I’m going to say first of all that I really like this series. And I want to let the first several pages tell you why…

Terror is set to kill someone, slits the target’s throat, but he doesn’t die.

Then he fights off the target’s goons.

And tell us via narration that this is his job.

Although we’ve seen Terror a few times before this, in these issues character cocreator D.G. Chichester really tells us what Terror’s all about.  He’s kind of a street-level, partly demonic character—similar to Ghost Rider in some ways, except that he’s also a mercenary.  Oh, and his power is to use other peoples’ bodyparts. That’s both gross and cool at the same time.

We learn his target is an immortal arms dealer who literally sold his soul to the Devil to gain his immortality. Terror learns this by “seeing” through the eyes of one of Barbatos’ henchmen…

So if you’re going up against Satan, it’s good to get help. And that help arrives in the form of…

Hellfire, who debuts here and he is Son of Satan’s half-brother.  Sadly, he’ll appear in this series but never again.  Not even when Terror gets his own MAX imprint title in the 2000s.

Once allied, the two take on the Devil and manage to defeat Barbatos’ ability, finally killing him.

On the whole, I don’t think Marvel does occult stuff very well.  Sure, there are exceptions like on Dr. Strange or the first Son of Satan series. But on the whole, their view of The Devil is poorly formed (there’s at least six different “devils” as well as Mephisto and Hela).  This is pretty well done.  Very interesting, ahead-of-its-time art.

Also, given Terror’s power to animate dead limbs, you have to love the letter page title.

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