Vampire Tales #3 (Satana)
Issue(s): Vampire Tales #3 (Satana story only)
She heads off a riot instigated by an opportunistic (Christian) church leader, Harry Gotham...
...and then goes to find some lunch. In the previous issue we saw her suck out the lifeforce of a man who was trying to rape her. But here we learn that she in fact requires lifeforce as sustenance. This makes her effectively little different from a vampire (not surprising in a book called Vampire Tales), but since she's not undead and she uses her sexy lady parts to lure victims, she's called a succubus. You'd think the fact that she's Satan's daughter might put her in a different class than a common demon; you don't see Daimon Hellstrom having to scrounge around for his next meal. Anyway, that's what's being established here.
She thinks to herself that in the future she might eat some of the cultists, but for now she's targeting a regular businessman.
After that she returns to the place where the cultists are staying, and Harry Gotham sends some goons over to kill her, because he senses that she is truly evil. The goons are arranged through a Mr. Darkos Edge who, if i understand it correctly, is actually the head of the Satanic church.
Satana decides to toy with the goons, but her inaction results in the death of her roomate, Ruth Cummins. Ruth had a mark of Satan on her, identical to one that Satana has, and Ruth also previously had a vision of Satan telling her, "One day you will serve me. Your life will leave you -- and be yours forever".
Satana kills the goons (one of them physically)...
...and then visits Gotham and gives him her soul-sucking kiss.
When trying to understand Ruth's prophecy, Satana discovers that a barrier has been constructed, preventing her from contacting her father.
A text piece included in this issue (and my Essentials reprint) goofily describes the day at the Marvel office when Esteban Maroto's art came in and how excited everyone was by it. The piece says that Stan Lee came up with the idea for a Devil's Daughter character years earlier, but couldn't do it in a code book (although apparently you can do a Son of Satan series in a code book, because he's not a succubus). They didn't really seem to have any ideas about her beyond that most basic concept. John Buscema even drew three separate designs for the character and originally all three were going to be included in the initial advertisement, with the idea that readers would have to guess which one was the real one. Buscema's sketches are not included in the text piece, but there is some additional art by Maroto. I like the horns, and they're occasionally used in her actual appearances.
The succubus idea was Roy Thomas', according to the text. Maroto's art is really nice but it's clear that the appeal is in his beautiful women (as opposed to, say, that fight scene). The set-up in this story is interesting (e.g., what are Satana's plans for this cult?), but unfortunately it doesn't really get explored in future issues, which instead focus on why Satana is cut off from her father).
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's been "days" since Satana "last touched a man" which may be a reference to last issue but doesn't have to be. By publication date, the last issue was four months ago and i actually have the previous issue placed even a little further back thanks to the way it was reprinted.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Marvel Horror vol. 1
"Son of Satan #1" may refer to the proposed b&w mag for the character.
If you look at Satana's feet, the little white stripes produce a cloven hoof effect if you squint a bit.
Esteban Maroto was already a big fan favorite in England and Europe for his art, and was introduced to America by Warren's magazines. Maroto did this and a Red Sonja story for Marvel, and then went back to Warren despite Jim Warren's reputation as a typical cheapskate businessman(maybe Marvel's editors were too heavy-handed on him).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 13, 2013 5:50 PM
Beautiful art. Black & white comics artists often presented a level of detail which many or most color artists usually did not.
Posted by: Holt | January 31, 2018 11:11 PM
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