Publisher: DC Comics Inc. (1985)
Softcover, 48 pages
"But what about Satan? What about the spell to send him back? Back to where -- to hell? But we could have hell here on Earth!
And why not?
An Earth filled with man-made war and misery. An earth filled with grasping, cheating, lying, stealing, raping, murdering, crazy humans. Filled with pestilence, disease, idiocy. Let the Lord of Evil come into his own!”
This is a graphic novel adaption of the original short story by Robert Bloch, famed author of Psycho. Bloch, as we know, was a contemporary of Lovecraft and part of his writer’s circle. In fact the character of Robert Blake from The Haunter in the Dark is based on Bloch. Hell on Earth was originally published in Weird Tales (where else) back in 1942. DC made a number of these thin volumes of graphic adaptations of old Sci-Fi classics in the 1980s with varying degrees of success.
A horror writer is paid $100,000 to be part of an experiment to determine through scientific principles if magic is real. It is and through misadventure the scientists, his assistant, and the writer accidentally conjure up the living devil whom they trap under a protective glass (similar to Dream in the first issue of Sandman). The next question is, what to do with the creature? One by one, the participants in the experiment succumbs to the Devil’s power.
For those familiar with the story it may seem that 48 pages isn’t enough space for this tale. However the format of this book is larger than usual. Each page has a 16 panel grid, which was necessary to accommodate a faithful adaptation of the story. And they succeeded. Visually this was a stunning work that pumped new life into an old classic that nobody remembers.
For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst.