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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Daimon's Double

The delineation between good and evil was ever complicated for Daimon Hellstrom. In Defenders #118, the Son of Satan discovered that while he was away on missions (or trapped in his father's netherworld), a demon had assumed his civilian identity.

As suspicious as things looked, this was not part of an nefarious plot. The Satan entity had felt kindness toward the unnamed demon and bestowed free will upon him—a sharp contrast to the unquestionably evil nature of most comic book demons.

With his newfound freedom, the demon left for earth and decided to pick up where the true Son of Satan had left off. That meant taking over Hellstrom's job as department head of a university parapsychology department. That also meant pursuing a relationship and marrying a good-natured witch who was one of Hellstrom's closest friends.

Here came the slap in the face: The woman knew her husband was a demon-dopplegänger, but she loved him anyway. The disguised demon was more attentive, more genteel, than the brooding Daimon Hellstrom had ever been.

Hellstrom was dumbfounded. He had spent his adult life operating with tightly defined notions of good and evil. But the insidiousnes of the impostor predicament turned those preconceptions upside-down. The identity crisis left the hero reconsidering what type of person he wanted to be.

Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 118. April 1983. "The Double!" J.M. DeMatteis (script), Don Perlin (pencils), Mushynsky & Milgrom (inks), Shelly Leferman (letters), George Roussos (colors), Allen Milgrom (editor), Jim Shooter (chief).

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