July 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #483: Abraxis

A demon lord and his underlings were mostly there as a way to bring the Justice Society back.

Sometimes when I come up with an idea for this weekly column, I find myself at a loss because I take all the images I use from Google Images, and sometimes there aren’t many to go by.    Other times I run into even more obstacles, like not much in the way of information online aside.  And sometimes, DC or Marvel’s respective apps don’t have a title for one reason or another.  Sometimes I can guess that reason (like how neither service has anything written by Gerard Jones given what happened to him), but other times I have no idea.

I mean, I don’t know why DC Universe Infinite doesn’t have the Armageddon Inferno mini-series, but that was the one real appearance of the demon lord Abraxis.

To start, I was a big fan of Armageddon Inferno back in the day and probably reread that thing a few dozen times.  Watson has said in the past that every so often, he’ll look up some old comic he remembered enjoying only to realize it was written by Mark Waid more often than not.  I have a similar thing in that it usually turns out to be something written by John Ostrander.  Ostrander wrote Armageddon Inferno, initially set up as Waverider’s next big adventure after Armageddon 2001.  As it is, Abraxis appeared in the first issue (sort of) as little more than a pair of sinister eyes back in April of 1992.

By the by, the artists on this mini-series were one of the big draws.  Yeah, I didn’t care for the art in the framing material for every issue from Ostrander’s old Suicide Squad collaborator Luke McDonnell, but the rest?  I’ll get to them in a minute.  I wish I could find more images from this mini-series as it is, but I found one good pic of Abraxis (that appeared multiple times) and one of his minions the Daemen, the guys who almost got this week’s feature.

The Daemen, as it was, were twelve mortal humans, disappointed by life for one reason or another who each sold their souls for power to Abraxis so that he could take over the DC Universe through the use of four Similacrums, false bodies that the Daemen would build up and protect in four different times and places so that Abraxis could take them over, allowing him to take over the world throughout time and space.  Waverider was there to see the initial deal done, and he had a plan to stop it:  using his ability to see time and whatnot, he could pick out select heroes that would not missed from their times to take on the Daemen and destroy the Similacrums in whatever time they appeared in.

The Daemen, pre-transformation

Anyway, the Daemen first.  They were:

  • Arquol, a woman who could turn into a variety of fast vehicles
  • Blaquokar, an old man who could cast a mind control net
  • Calabri, a woman with a powerful sonic voice attack
  • Dhaozan, a woman with an energy whip of some kind
  • Feth Sudol, a man who could turn into a swarm of different kinds of animals
  • Gulgak, a man who could vomit fire and lava
  • Huromon, a man with power over the Earth itself
  • Inztuk, a blind man who could fire powerful energy beams from his eyes
  • Kishtimaak, a woman who could create ice weapons from nothing
  • Piztok, a woman who could create a mental maze with a lot of boobie traps
  • Tzingaas, a man who could spin around while covered in razor blades
  • Zhazor, a man who could toss fiery weapons

I really wish I could find some pics of these guys.  Some of them looked pretty cool in a 90s sort of way.

Anyway, to oppose them, Waverider formed four teams to each go to a different location, and each was of these teams were drawn by a different artist.

  • The Powerhouse team, consisting of Superman, Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Power Girl, Martian Manhunter, and the Wally West Flash went to the far future in the general time of the Legion.  Their section was drawn by Arthur Adams.
  • The Powerless team, fighting in World War II’s European theater when Hitler’s possession of the Spear of Destiny limited superhuman forces in the war zone, consisted mostly of DC’s war heroes, notably Sgt. Rock and Easy Company plus the Losers (minus Captain Storm for some reason), but also included the Thanagarian Hawkman and Hawkwoman.  Their adventure was drawn by Michael Netzer
  • The Roughriders team went to the prehistoric past and consisted of Starfire, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Lobo, Orion, and the Enemy Ace.  Their adventure was drawn by Walt Simonson.
  • And finally, there was a grab-bag team of heroes that didn’t really have a theme, consisting of Batman, the Creeper, Firestorm, Jo-Nah (or Ultra Boy) of the Legion of Superheroes, and the Spectre, as drawn by Ostrander’s then-future Spectre  collaborator Tom Mandrake.

See?  Top notch artists.

As it just so happened, none of these teams seemed to act in time before the Abraxis Similacrum in any given time woke up, but therein lay his weakness:  the Spectre was able to divide his time between his battle and wherever Waverider was in order to get Waverider’s help in bringing in a fifth team to take the fight directly to Abraxis, that being the Justice Society of America.  At the time, the JSA were in limbo fighting the eternal battle of the Norse Ragnarok.  The team was able to prevent the end of the world that way, but since the end had to happen, the battle would constantly reset and start over.  The Spectre could temporarily removed the JSA from the battle as long as Waverider held time still there.  As long as the JSA returned, they could keep preventing the end of the world for all eternity.

Oh, and the JSA’s adventure was drawn by Dick Giordano.

From there, two things happened:  the JSA discovered the caveman-like residents of Abraxis’s home dimension could, like Abraxis, absorb mystical energy, and since the JSA were full of that sort of energy to keep them eternally young, they were able to pass the power to the residents, who then combined their power to defeat Abraxis since that guy was making their world a living hell anyway.  Meanwhile, Abraxis’s stupid plan had divided himself into five locations, so when the heroes in each battle finally gained the uppper hand against the Daemen, Abraxis was defeated in five times and places all at once.  The JSA, now aging to something closer to how old they should be, left Abraxis’s plane, and in a final move, Waverider substituted the Daemen for the JSA in the Ragnarok battle, thus giving the Daemen a permanent prison and allowing the JSA to return to the real world.

So, that was, as far as I know, the only time Abraxis and the Daemen appeared anywhere…though one wiki-source I found suggested Abarxis may have also appeared in an issue of Ostrander’s Hawkworld.  But I don’t know about that.  Basically, Abraxis is basically an excuse to bring the JSA back, but man, I sure do remember it being a good way to do it.