Review: Reign in Hell #1

Linda Danvers appears briefly, just enough tease us with her status. Not surprising really – it’s just the beginning of the story. Spoilers follow.

Lady Blaze and Lord Satanus, rulers of Purgatory, are invading the rest of Hell for whatever reason. In defense, present-ruler Neron calls upon “Mother Lilith” (not the same Lilith seen in the SUPERGIRL series, sadly) to call in her children (“born of Neron’s glory, forever in Neron’s debt” – whatEVER), which seems to mean anyone with ties to Hell (“harbingers of damnation”), for “debts owed”.

Shadowpact is trailing Linda Danvers for some unknown reason (“too dangerous to roam free”), and they find her living in a Gotham City apartment. She’s blonde, but it’s impossible to tell from the art whether it’s a wig. She responds to their attempted abduction by bursting into Angel of Fire flames. Naked. Ehh? She angrily yells, “Shadowpact scut! I was building a life! I had friends!” [Note: “scut” is the swear/insult of choice in this issue – all the denizens of hell use it. What does that say about Linda?] Because of all the places that Linda would have gone to disappear, she chose Gotham City in the U.S. of A. Riiight. Junie Moone (Shadowpact member) calls her an “unstable…whatever you are, and we’d rather not have you out here ticking down like a time…bomb”. It’s too late: Linda is transported away, the first to be “culled” (at first I thought she had shunted away under her own power, since she seems to have her Earth-born Angel powers back). Junie Moone knows this because they have also taken a part of her. Across the world, hell is calling in debts owed, affecting characters like Kid Devil, Black Alice, and Jason Blood/Etrigan (although Linda is the only one to be bodily transported away, which is odd – the others just have their hell-related “essence” ripped from them).

The preview for REIGN IN HELL #2 promises that “Our heroes will choose sides” in the infernal war. What role Linda will play remains to be seen.

I’m neither miffed nor pleased, just plain unsure at this point. I’ve now read JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN ANNUAL #1, DC UNIVERSE 0 and this issue, in that order, and haven’t a clue what’s going on (I assume that’s their plan). I’ll be reading the first two issues of FINAL CRISIS next, but I don’t expect to be any clearer after that =) FINAL CRISIS #3 is the issue with the gorgeous Supergirl cover – I wonder if Linda and Kara will interact at any point, or if Linda will only be see in REIGN IN HELL.

Info on the 8-issue miniseries: Interview: Keith Giffen on DC’s ‘Reign in Hell’

Michelle Bacon

Michelle loves comics and code. A lifelong Superfamily fan, she's been collecting comics for 20 years, and running Supergirl: Maid of Might since 2000.

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