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Change! Change, O form of man!Rise, the Demon Etrigan!!
Release the might from fleshy mire!
Boil the blood in heart of fire!
Gone! Gone! -- the form of man --
Created by Jack Kirby and appearing for the first time in The Demon #1 (August, 1972), Etrigan has played many smaller roles in several DC comics from The Sandman to Wonder Woman, with occasional stories and miniseries wholly to himself (such as in anthology series Wednesday Comics), and a number of ongoings, including Kirby's original series, a fifty-nine issue run, not counting annuals, during The Nineties, and John Byrne's Blood of the Demon.
Etrigan is a yellow skinned and red eyed demon who was summoned by Merlin to aid Camelot against the forces of Morgaine le Fay, who later became a recurring opponent in the series. After the fall of Camelot, Merlin sent Etrigan to roam the earth in the disguise of a man. Depending on the Writer, Etrigan is either bonded to one of King Arthur's noblemen or the human Jason Blood was merely created by Merlin's spell. In the present, Jason Blood is well versed in the skill of magic and has helped other superheroes in several occasions. Etrigan's habit of speaking in verses is a later addition, introduced by Len Wein in DC Comics Presents #66, but really established and explained by Alan Moore. This also makes him fall under almost every rhyme Trope there is.
Etrigan's powers include superhuman strength, regenerative powers, and several mystic abilities such as telepathy, precognition and hellfire.
Etrigan has also appeared in various animated adaptations of DC comics, being played by Billy Zane in Batman: The Animated Series, Michael T. Weiss in Justice League, and Dee Bradley Baker in Batman the Brave And The Bold.
Tropes associated with Etrigan include:
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Baron Von Evilstein
- The Big Guy: Usually when teaming up.
- Blessed with Suck
- Breath Weapon
- By the Power of Grayskull
- Often, especially in adaptations, only the two last lines are used. To change back, he recites "Gone, gone, O Etrigan! Resume once more the form of man!"
- Other versions of the poem have been seen to work. Spoofed at least once by Blood himself, while in a particularly snarky mood:
Gone, oh little man so tame,
Arise the demon... Whatsisname?
- Child Mage: Klarion the Witch-Boy is an absurdly powerful little brat who, in his first appearance: cures a deadly poison, conjures up a feast, banishes a monster with a fork, and summons the Demon to his aid while tied up and suspended from the ceiling.
- Cigar Chomper: Henry won't let go of a cigar even in a dead faint.
- Creepy Child: Klarion the Witch-Boy
- Cursed with Awesome
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Etrigan is one of the higher-ups in Hell. A helpful indicator of his position in the hierarchy is his rhyming.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Eldritch Abominations: A sizable portion of foes.
- Enfante Terrible:
- Klarion. In his second appearance, he very nearly kills Jason Blood/Etrigan for good.
- A baby Etrigan was this as well, forcing his father to create Merlin.
- Ethnic Magician: Randu
- Evil Laugh: A staple of the villains. Etrigan himself has been known to have a few evil chuckles.
- The Fettered: Etrigan
- Game Face: On the occasions he only half-transforms.
- Good Is Not Nice: Jason Blood, especially outside of the Demon's own series.
- Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter
- Hell: Usually the Fire and Brimstone Hell.
- Horrifying Hero: Etrigan is a demon grafted onto the soul of a knight who betrayed Camelot.
- Instant Runes
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: His transformation is triggered by anyone saying the poem.
- Least Rhymable Word
- Magic Knight
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
- His foe, called Baron von Evilstein (his true name is Von Rakenstein).
- Frequently, Jason Blood himself.
- Noble Demon
- Older Than They Look: Haircut aside, Jason Blood looks exactly as he did in King Arthur's time.
- Our Demons Are Different
- Painful Rhyme: In a case of a not so poetic writer.
- Redheaded Hero
- Rhymes on a Dime
- The Scapegoat: Etrigan's little brother.
- Sealed Inside a Person Shaped Can
- Skunk Stripe: Jason Blood
- Split Personality
- Summon Magic: Klarion the Witch-Boy is capable of summoning Etrigan to his aid in his first appearance.
- Torches and Pitchforks
- The Trickster: Frequently, Etrigan's own motivation is his own amusement... such as when he intentionally triggered a war between Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory over the vessel of God's divine rage, just to get more serious (and dull) demons abused when the heroes inevitably won.
- Unusual Eyebrows: Jason's are swooped and very, very noticeable.
- Urban Fantasy
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Etrigan and Lobo are a Type 2 duo, prone to physically pummeling each other as their way of saying "Hi."
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Averted.