While his "Fourth World" series was winding down, Jack Kirby was busy conjuring his next creation, which emerged not from the farthest reaches of the galaxy, but from the deepest pits of hell. Etrigan was hardly the usual Kirby protagonist battling unspeakable evil, most likely because he was evil, though he was often forced to ally with the forces of good by his human guise Jason Blood.
The series' first issue presented the Demon's origins, which dated back to the final days of Camelot. Merlin the magician had summoned Etrigan to battle the hordes of King Arthur's evil half sister, the sorceress Morgana le Fey, who sought everlasting life from Merlin's tome of spells, the Book of Eternity. Yet as the fall of Camelot appeared imminent, Merlin housed his demon guardian inside the form of a man until needed again. That need would nat arise until the 20th Century, when demonologist Jason Blood, possessing no knowledge of his demonic self, was tricked into locating Merlin's crypt and reading aloud the rhyming incantation that revived the demon. The deception was orchestrated by a dying Morgana Le Fey, with whom Etrigan would resume his battle before she collected Merlin's Book of Eternity.
Etrigan integrated with DC's mainstream titles, particularly the monster - and horror-themed series that were enjoying their renaissance. However, the Etrigan - Blood duality offered a one-of-a-kind spin that only Kirby could craft. While most comics stories had humans possessed by demonic entities, Kirby reversed the roles, with Etrigan, whom Merlin imprisoned within a human vessel. "The Demon" lasted only 16 issues, but the character of Etrigan has remained a major character in the DC Universe to this day - especially where a good rhyme or devilish deed is concerned.