Demon’s Tails: More than a Mini (Series)
By John M. Metych, III
It’s not often that a “supporting character” in a new comic title is not only introduced prior to the namesake “main characters” of the new series, but is actively (and impressively) spotlighted – even including a complete origin story reveal! – within the first six pages . . . OF SOMEONE ELSE’S TITLE! It doesn’t happen often . . . but it happened in Cat & Mouse (Volume 1, Issue 1) and it happened to Demon! From those very first pages, readers knew that Demon was destined to be more than a traditional “supporting character.” He was destined for more than a supporting character role. He was destined for greatness. He was destined for his OWN title. He was destined for . . . Demon’s Tails!
Originally released by Silverline through Adventure Comics, and currently available directly from Silverline in a nifty graphic novel format (https://indyplanet.com/demons-tails), Demon’s Tails chronicles Keith Greyson’s adventure to put an end to the Church of Abaddon once and for all, adds additional context and details to his origin, and serves to beautifully wrap up his focused story arc, using the final two issues of Cat & Mouse as a launching pad for his own series and his own adventure!
However . . . history has a tendency to repeat itself, and it absolutely does so here! Mirroring how Demon was given spotlight treatment in someone else’s new title (Cat & Mouse), here we find that Demon’s new title . . . isn’t all about him! Champion, AKA Dan, AKA the Chicago Champion, AKA “the inspiration for several heroes in the Silverline Universe” makes sure that he’s along for this four issue ride and that his story gets some time to shine as well! Ah, Demon . . . we didn’t want you to get lonely!
Not that Demon would have a chance to be lonely . . . introduced within the first few pages of the title are his estranged sister (Cheryl) as well as a trio of his old college buddies (Mike, Chris, and Stan – who are now on a road trip to reconnect with Keith/Demon), Champion makes an appearance in New Orleans (still thinking that he’s working with official law enforcement – see Cat & Mouse 17 and 18 for deets on that), and a small cadre of Church of Abaddon cultists tussle with Demon as he saves a damsel in distress, with the cultists later recanting their actions and pleading for forgiveness, all while referring to Demon as “Master.”
We get insight into what the Church of Abaddon really is . . . a front . . . a fraud . . . a cult whose leader (Isaac) is focused on power . . . and money . . . and is willing to kill, in the most horrific ways, to protect his interests.
Meanwhile, Keith’s buddy, Mike, surprises him by showing up at his place, revealing his transformation from Man to De-Man (Demon, get it?!? HA!). An expanded origin story is shared between the gentlemen, explaining the metamorphosis to his current appearance, the revelation that the road trip, prompted by the phone call Mike had received from Cheryl, was to deliver a devastating message – Keith’s father had passed away. Keith/Demon, still fearful of a society that would fear him, shun him, or . . . worse . . . indicated that he wouldn’t be attending the funeral because of his current “condition.” This infuriated not only Mike, but also his sister Cheryl, who decided to conduct a pilgrimage to New Orleans to speak with her brother herself . . .
Champion, still on the hunt for Cat & Mouse, believes he finally located Cat. Champion was given the description “There’s no mistaking them” so when he sees Demon (who is furry . . . and has tails . . . like, I dunno, a CAT), he assumes (and you know what they say about assume, right?!?) Demon is truly Cat. Before he can engage him, however, the cultists blow a dog-styled whistle, causing both Demon and Champion to pass out. The cultists whisk Demon away – to Isaac – who then extracts blood from Demon’s unconscious body and injects it into caged rabbit and puppy as an experiment. But to what ends . . . ?? Well, the animals go crazy, become muscularly buffed up, burst from their cage, and escape from the building only to soon after “writhe in pain, and come to an unpredicted end” as they dissolve into a puddle of goo . . .
Isaac, already power hungry, and only seeing the effect on the animals to the point of their escape, is urged by one of his lackeys to inject himself to increase his own power . . . now not only psychological over his followers . . . not only financially through his bogus church . . . no, now Isaac has the opportunity become physically powerful in ways he never could have imagined before. All he needed to do was “go get some more blood from the freak” for this to happen . . . but it wasn’t going to be that easy. While the animals were metamorphasizing (yes, I coined a new word here), Demon awoke, escaped from his oppressive bonds, and finds his way home. Unfortunately, this is the same home that his sister, Cheryl, had visited hours before . . . as had a new cadre of cultists . . . who took it upon themselves to kidnap her and bring them to Isaac, who is none to pleased about Demon’s escape prior to being able to extract blood for his own injections.
Champion and Demon finally face off, misidentifications come to light, some good, fun, old school “hero vs hero misunderstandings lead to fighting” occurs and the duo both succumb to the mighty . . . whistle of the cultists. Again.
In an ornate ceremonial room, replete with sacrificial altar, the eclectic “team Demon” finally comes together. Demon, bound and upside down, recognizes his sister, Cheryl, as the woman being prepped for the altar. Champion, also bound (but right-side-up) is a witness as well and knows he must save her. Demon’s trio of college buddies – Mike, Chris, and Stan – impersonate cultists and infiltrate the ceremonial room at the precise time of Demon’s bloodletting at Isaac’s hands. Demon begins yapping in hopes of distracting Isaac’s attention away from Cheryl, Champion struggles with his bonds in an attempt to get free so he could save Cheryl, and the trio decides it would be best to cut Demon loose so he could . . . save Cheryl. 😊 Remember, at this point, that Mike is the only one of the three who knows who Demon really is . . .
Upon ingesting Demon’s blood, Isaac follows a path similar to his lab animals . . . he physically metamorphasizes (new word #2!), the change affects his brain (even more negatively, if you could believe it!) and an epic battle between Mega Isaac and the now allied duo of Demon and Champion ensues. Isaac is defeated, Cheryl is saved, Demon is revealed to be Keith to all assembled, Champion and Demon become buddies, and Isaac dissolves into a puddle of goo. Just like the animals. Just like Ben Reilly too, come to think of it, although Isaac met his fate three years prior. Always ahead of its time, Silverline has been!!!
The talent that brought these issues to life consisted of:
- The ever inspiring Roland Mann– the Mann with the Plan! Cat and Mouse writer and Silverline Editorial Director, would, later in his career, become writer, editor and eventually Managing Editor at Malibu Comics. He has been the driving force of Silverline as a publisher, including the current, successful relaunch of the brand!
- Paul Pelletier, who bounded into Silverline and on to the comic book scene with Demon’s Tails! Having already produced work through Alpha Productions, Paul joined with Roland to tell Demon’s first expanded solo story and Paul would go on to have a most excellent career in comics, working for Malibu Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and CrossGen comics, among others. His pencil has brought life to world renowned characters including, but not limited to, Aquaman, Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Green Lantern, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, all four of the Fantastic Four, Nova, the Silver Surfer, and Wolverine. Whew!
- The mighty Thomas Florimonte provided his first published inks on this mini-series (issues 2 – 4), and would also produce beautifully inspired inks for publishers including (but not limited to) Marvel, Malibu, Chaos!, Acclaim and Gallant, and his own imprint: Inferno Studios, home of Zomboy! Thomas also co-founded the industry changing Print-On-Demand service, Ka-Blam as well as its sister division, IndyPlanet! Plus, Thomas is back at Silverline, currently inking multiple current Silverline projects, including the just successfully funded first issue of TRUMPS! (as in card games!) (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rolandmann/trumps-and-cat-and-mouse/)
- Demon’s Tails’ Issue 1 inks were provided by Tom Romano, who is still contributing to the comic book field through his own studio, Tom Romano Art Studio.
- Very unique and distinctive lettering was provided by Rik Mayo for all four issues.