Balladeer’s Blog’s Month-long celebration of Halloween nears its end for 2020 as I take a look at the most seasonal covers of the 1970s Marvel Comics series Son of Satan. The latest Marvel television show, Helstrom, is a very watered-down and weak version of their horror character Daimon Hellstrom, the son of Satan and a mortal woman. (They didn’t even use both “L’s” in the name Hellstrom for the series title, as if h-e-l-l is too shocking for public use.)
Marvel later renamed Daimon from Son of Satan to the catchier “Hellstorm” – a play on his last name. From what I’ve read the tv show doesn’t even commit to him being Satan’s son. Wimps. He FIGHTS Satan, for crying out loud, so where’s the harm!
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #12 (October 1973)
Title: The Son of Satan
Comment: Daimon Hellstrom and his half-sister Satana (click HERE) were both born of human mothers but with Satan as their father. Satana followed their father’s evil path but Daimon rebelled, fighting against their father and his minions and even trying to become a priest at one time.
In his secret identity Daimon was a professor of parapsychology and religion plus he served as an exorcist. When he held up both hands with three fingers up on each hand (the sign of the trident) he mystically transformed into his Son of Satan regalia complete with a pitchfork.
That pitchfork was made of nether-metal and through it the Son of Satan generated Hellfire (like Ghost Rider wielded) and used it to fly (like Hot Stuff – rimshot). This foe of demonic forces also had an infernal chariot pulled through the sky by three Satanic horses named Amon, Hecate and Set.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #13 (January 1974)
Title: When Satan Walked The Earth
Villain: Satan and his demons
Comment: Daimon Hellstrom treats readers to a flashback that reveals even more of his origin. When he turned 21 he inherited the family’s mansion at Fire Lake in the U.S. Exploring the vast house Daimon discovered a portal to Hell in the lowest level of the mansion. (And you thought YOU had basement problems!)
Venturing forth into Hell, he was at first shown deference by the demons who were torturing damned souls. Daimon was shocked (I can imagine) to learn his father was THE actual Satan, who told Hellstrom he planned for him to become the Antichrist and conquer the Earth on his behalf.
Satan dressed his son in his Hellish costume but Daimon renounced his heritage, stole a nether-metal trident & a Hellish chariot and fought back. He defeated lesser demons, but could not defeat his father, so he fled back through the portal and sealed it off from Earth’s side. Since then he had battled the forces of evil.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #14 (March 1974)
Title: Ice And Hellfire
Villain: Ikthalon the ice demon
Comment: Beautiful blonde Professor Katherine Reynolds at the fictional Gateway University in Saint Louis, MO contacts Daimon Hellstrom. She hires him to exorcise a seemingly haunted building on the campus.
Our hero agrees, and, away from prying eyes on campus, turns into his Son of Satan guise and battles the entity behind the haunting: Ikthalon the ice demon. Ultimately our hero (?) emerges triumphant and also manages to save Katherine from her own curiosity about his arcane methods.
Despite Daimon’s brusque, impatient manner, Katherine finds herself attracted to him. (Women and their Bad Boys, amirite?)
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #15 (May 1974)
Title: Black Sabbath
Villain: The demon Baphomet
Comment: Katherine talks Daimon into delivering a lecture at Gateway University, then into accepting a teaching position there. She also tries to get past his aloof exterior.
Eventually Daimon and Katherine meet Byron Hyatt, a divinity student at the university. When a cult that worships the demon Baphomet begins harassing and sabotaging the school our hero takes action as the Son of Satan. Ultimately the cult brings Baphomet to Earth, where our hero faces him in a running battle around Saint Louis.
Son of Satan wins and banishes Baphomet back to Hell, while Katherine becomes even more infatuated with Daimon after witnessing his heroics again.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #16 (July 1974)
Title: 4,000 Holes in Forest Park
Villains: The Legion of Nihilists
Comment: When 4,000 holes appear in St Louis’ Forest Park, Daimon and Professor Reynolds investigate (but don’t count them all). Another local cult (who knew St Louis had so many), this one called the Legion of Nihilists, have been waiting for this manifestation and gather in the park.
Some of the Nihilists recognized Daimon as a vile presence, even in his civilian clothing and attack him. (No, I don’t know why Nihilists of all people would adopt the viewpoint that there is any cause or concept worth attacking the Son of Satan over.)
Daimon makes the sign of the trident, becomes the Son of Satan and takes on the Legion. The battle ultimately leads to some of the Hellfire blasts from our hero’s trident causing a chain reaction among the 4,000 holes. A fiery serpent from the deep – think Leviathan but made of fire – slithers out of the holes and sets out to inflict global destruction. The Son of Satan opposes it.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #18 (October 1974)
Villain: The demon Allatou
Comment: Daimon – and by extension, his constant companion Katherine Reynolds – have become celebrities of a sort in St Louis’ academic, cultural and parapsychology communities. While enjoying the party circuit they get caught up in the case of Melissa Manners, a teenage girl possessed by the demon Allatou.
The Son of Satan once again clashes with one of his father’s countless demons as he tries an exorcism on the girl. In the cliffhanger ending Allatou is driven from Melissa but possesses her father next.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #19 (December 1974)
Title: Demon, Demon, Who’s Got The Demon?
Comment: Allatou proves a hard demon to exorcise, and begins bouncing from family member to family member, possessing each one in turn to keep our main character off-balance.
This was one of the few Son of Satan stories to truly qualify as horror and had an almost Evil Dead (the original) feel to it as Daimon and the others were trapped in a house where anyone at any time could become a demonoid and attack them. Naturally the Son of Satan wins in the end.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #20 (February 1975)
Title: The Fool’s Path
Villain: Madame Swabada, evil Tarot Card Reader
Comment: SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TO MORGAN AT MORGAN TAROT, a fascinating fellow blogger. There is nothing inherently evil about Tarot Cards but since this is a comic book the villainess Madame Swabada uses the cards and her powers for malevolent purposes.
When one of Katherine’s students, Christine Sandt, receives sinister correspondence from a Tarot Reader named Madame Swabada, Professor Reynolds brings in Daimon to investigate. The villainess winds up unleashing a series of monstrous entities on him, each one modeled after some of the Major and Minor Arcana of the Tarot.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #21 (April 1975)
Title: Mourning at Dawn
Villain: Madame Swabada
Comment: The Son of Satan continues battling Madame Swabada’s conjured-up Tarot Card menaces around Saint Louis. Ultimately, Professor Reynolds learns that Christine Sandt was originally targeted by Swabada because her father’s tabloid newspaper denounced her as a fake while praising Daimon as legit.
Swabada reveals to our main character that she died from a heart attack after the tabloid story ruined her. The undead villainess continues her battle with Daimon into next issue.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #22 (June 1975)
Title: Journey Into Himself
Villain: Madame Swabada
Comment: The Son of Satan realizes that Madame Swabada’s spirit has not taken possession of Christine Sandt, but rather HIM. Inside his own soul, our main character must fight his way to Madame Swabada’s spirit through illusory forms of many of his old friends and foes, including Ghost Rider, Satana and even his own Darksoul (the black-colored Son of Satan duplicate).
In the end the Son of Satan emerges triumphant and has ironically achieved a degree of enlightenment and inner peace from this metaphorical adventure through the cards of the Tarot.
MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol 1 #32 (April 1975)
Title: All the Fires in Hell …
Villain: The demon Dryminextes
Comment: At the Baxter Building headquarters of the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) learns from Silent Fox, the grandfather of his Native American friend Wyatt Wingfoot, that Wyatt seems to have become possessed by a demon. Silent Fox provides video evidence to the Torch.
Johnny decides to consult the famous exorcist Daimon Hellstrom, so he takes a Fantastic Four aircraft and flies to Saint Louis. Daimon flies to Wyatt’s Oklahoma Reservation home with the Human Torch. Hellstrom turns into the Son of Satan and drives out the demon Dryminextes from Wyatt.
The demon then possesses the entire tribe and has them attack Son of Satan and the Human Torch. In the end our heroes win, of course, and Dryminextes is banished back to Hell.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #24 (October 1975)
Title: Walk The Darkling Road
Villains: Satana the Devil’s Daughter and Kthara the Mother of Demons
Comment: Daimon Hellstrom leaves Gateway University for good and is seen off at the airport by Professor Katherine Reynolds, who is sad that he has never seemed to reciprocate her romantic interest.
Arriving in Los Angeles at the behest of his new client, the Son of Satan battles his sister Satana, who is presenting herself as an object of worship for a Satanic Church. This becomes a three-way battle when both Daimon and Satana must take on Kthara the Mother of Demons, who has possessed a female member of the Church.
Kthara is defeated and Satana vows to send Daimon’s soul to Hell the next time they meet.
SON OF SATAN Vol 1 #1 (December 1975)
Title: The Homecoming
Villains: Satan and the Possessor
Comment: Like Werewolf by Night and Ghost Rider before him, Son of Satan graduated from Marvel Spotlight and into his own comic book.
Our title character returns to his mansion at Fire Lake and discovers massive vandalism. Assuming his father is behind it, the Son of Satan uses the portal to Hell to confront him. Satan denies being behind it.
Daimon goes on to learn that the real perpetrator is the Possessor, a bizarre three-headed hybrid of a human with two demons. The Possessor’s plan is to overthrow Satan as the master of Hell.
SON OF SATAN Vol 1 #2 (February 1976)
Title: The Possession
Villains: The Possessor and Nightfire
Comment: As the Possessor’s insane plan to become the new ruler of Hell continues, the Son of Satan battles one of the entity’s minions – a possessed and mystically powered Native American called Nightfire.
The Possessor’s origin is revealed. He is a human so vile and with a life of so many sins that when two demons tried possessing him he was instead able to possess THEM. Binding the demons to him resulted in the Possessor’s odd three-headed (one human head and two demon heads) form. There’s sort of a Cenobite feel to the Possessor.
SON OF SATAN Vol 1 #4 (June 1976)
Title: Cloud of Witness
Villain: Proffit, the Celestial Fool
Comment: Daimon Hellstrom accepts a teaching position at the fictional District University in Washington, DC. It’s clearly modeled after Georgetown U, though.
The Son of Satan’s new adversary this time around is an entity called Proffit. He dubs himself the Celestial Fool and the enigmatic figure and his power somehow tie into Kabalistic imagery, including Tree of Life concepts. That’s Proffit on the cover, even though Daimon inaccurately calls him a demon.
SON OF SATAN Vol 1 #7 (December 1976)
Title: Mirror of Judgment
Villains: Mindstar and Anubis
Comment: The Son of Satan battles the gold-armored Mindstar, a human villain granted powers by THE Anubis from the Egyptian pantheon of gods.
After fighting from Earth to the Court of Anubis in the ancient Egyptian underworld, Daimon stops Mindstar from completing the task assigned to him by Anubis: stealing Son of Satan’s Darksoul and giving its power to Anubis.
The disgusted Anubis strips Mindstar of the powers he granted him and the defeated villain plus our title character wind up safely back on Earth.
SON OF SATAN Vol 1 #8 (February 1977)
Title: Dance with the Devil, My Red-Eyed Son (insert your own “in the pale moonlight” joke here)
Comment: This was the 8th and final issue of Son of Satan’s short-lived 1970s series. The same problem afflicted this title as afflicted some of Marvel’s other horror series – the stories were not scary enough to keep the interest of adults but were too scary for young children.
Sales fell and finally the series met its end with this pointless tale in which Satan again clashes with his son and, when it appears he has defeated Daimon for good, Satan wakes up, realizing it was just a dream. So Satan SLEEPS?
FOR FIVE NEGLECTED MARVEL HORROR CHARACTERS CLICK HERE .
FOR EARLY BLADE THE VAMPIRE SLAYER COVERS CLICK HERE
FOR THE MOST HALLOWEENISH GHOST RIDER COVERS CLICK HERE
FOR THE MOST HALLOWEENISH WEREWOLF BY NIGHT COVERS CLICK HERE