Daimon confronts his dad. Artist: John Romita.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1973
Creators: Gary Friedrich (writer) and Herb Trimpe (artist)
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In the early 1970s, Marvel Comics launched one ongoing horror character after another — Man-Thing in 1971, a revamp of The Beast in …

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… '72, Frankenstein in '73 … Toward the end of the latter year, they upped the stakes by linking a couple of new characters with the ultimate horror. Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan, and his sister Satana, both debuted with the cover date October, 1973.

As the story had it, Satan decided one day he needed some human spawn, so, taking the name Hellstrom, he married a woman named Victoria Wingate. They had two children, and she never suspected a thing, not even when Daimon was born with a huge pentagram on his chest as a birthmark. Not even when he named the younger one Satana. When she did find out, she promptly went insane, and spent years in a mental institution (during which the children were raised separately) before finally succumbing to the horror of it all. After her demise, Daimon found her diary lying around the house, which is how he learned of his family background. (Satana already knew.) Conveniently, there was an interdimensional portal in the basement, so he could have an immediate confrontation with Dad, who tried to get him to serve the cause of Evil. Like Li'l Bad Wolf, tho, Daimon wasn't having any of it, so he and Satan became enemies.

(A later retcon clarified that this wasn't "the" Satan, and the extra-dimensional world of torture and flame he presided over wasn't "the" Hell. Possibly to avoid stepping on any religious toes and possibly just because they wanted to keep their options open regarding future use of a "Satan" character, they decided this was merely a similar demon, who happened to have chosen the same name.)

Daimon's side of the story was told in the 12th issue of Marvel Spotlight, a try-out comic that had already introduced The Ghost Rider and Werewolf by Night. It was written by Gary Friedrich (The Blue Beetle, Sgt. Fury) and drawn by Herb Trimpe (Incredible Hulk, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.). The writer most associated with him, however, was Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck, Destroyer Duck).

In fighting his father (and other supernatural menaces), Daimon found he had certain demonic powers, including the ability to hurl flames (called soulfire or hellfire) just like The Human Torch except Daimon's weren't precisely physical fire. He used a trident to focus and amplify it. He also had a moderate degree of super strength, and an attitude that anyone he might happen to oppose was deserving of the full brunt of his powerful wrath. He got around in a fiery chariot drawn by three flying horses, which he'd stolen from Satan (or whoever that guy was).

He was well enough received to be worth continuing, but instead of moving him out into his own comic, Marvel left him where he was for a couple of years. After #24 (October, 1975), Marvel Spotlight went back to a succession of new features, while Daimon's adventures continued in Son of Satan #1 (December). Possibly due to a change of writers (John Warner, who also has credits at Warren Publications and Gold Key Comics, took over in that department), he didn't do as well there, as it ended with #8 (February, 1977).

Daimon had his first crossover with The Defenders in Giant-Size Defenders #2 (October, 1974), and made frequent guest appearances with them thereafter. In fact, he later (during Gerber's run as writer of that "non-team") became a member. Still later, he married one of them, Hellcat, who had started in comics as the teenage star Patsy Walker. It was in Defenders #122 (August, 1983) that he added a mask to his "Son of Satan" costume and started calling himself by the superhero name "Hellstorm".

After that, Daimon was partially de-powered and retired from adventuring so he and Patsy could lead a quiet life of occult research. He got re-powered for a new series during the 1990s, in which he split from Patsy, took on a new consort, killed his father, became ruler of Dad's Hell-like domain, and murdered the first superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Dr. Droom/Druid. He's still kicking around, and no doubt further indignities await him.


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Text ©2004-05 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Marvel Comics.