MembershipIronfist The Avenger, The Man, Nergal

Base of Operations: England

First AppearanceHellblazer #4 (April, 1988)

History(Hellblazer #6 (fb, BTS), 4) - Nergal was a demon who specialized in covert action, disinformation, and corrupting hearts and souls. He founded the Damnation Army, empowering the human monsters he saw as worthy, to undermine the good of the UK. The Damnation Army was a group of lost and damned souls that terrorized England through bizarre and ritual murders, cannibalism and causing suicides. One member, the Man, brought home little girls, wedded them in an arcane ritual, and strangled them to death. Their souls were his to command, and the brides went looking for new victims. The brides chose Gemma Masters, niece of magician John Constantine, and brought her to the Manís house. The Man had Gemma dress up in a bridal dress, and prepared to garrote her. Fortunately she'd been reported missing, and Constantine rescued her in the nick of time. Gemma had a tearful reunion with her mother, and her father Tony and the Resurrection Crusade, a sect devoted to fighting the Army, burned the Man's house to the ground.

(Hellblazer #6) - Nergal wanted to recruit the British Boys, a local group of skinheads, but when they mistook him for a homosexual and tried to attack him he tore them to pieces. He took their mangled remains, and fused them to form the monstrous Ironfist The Avenger, and sent them to abduct John Constantineís new beau Zed. The monster was near mindless, and Nergal had to direct his thoughts using his followers for tantric magic. John couldnít have a monster take away his new friend, and noted that the fused boys had tattoos of Chelsea and Arsenal, two opposing soccer teams. The beast tore itself to pieces arguing about the best team. Knowing Zed was being hunted, John decided to go on the lam with her, having Chas drive them to Camden, and his friend Ray Mondeís antique shop. Nergal called John and revealed that he once chastised the magician for opposing him. He demanded John stop helping his enemies or the consequences would be severe.

(Hellblazer #10) - The Crusade intended to use Zed to create a prophesized godchild, and the Army could not let Heaven continue to eat away at Hellís power. Nergal forcibly brought Constantine into his service, and John made love to Zed / Mary, knowing Heaven would spurn her for the presence of her demon seed. The Crusade summoned angels, and had one of them enter Zed, but it soon fled, sensing Johnís demonic presence inside her. Heaven was displeased with the abysmal failure of the Crusade, and utterly destroyed their stronghold, killing all within, including Zed, who welcomed death for her failure. Nergal gloated and celebrated with his Damnation Army after retrieving the lone Crusader, one of his own spies. He sensed a disturbance in the Green, and realized that John had betrayed him, allowing Swamp Thing to borrow his body so he could conceive the prophesized child with Abigail Arcane. Nergal sent his hell-hounds after John, who was in the astral plane. When they failed, he himself pursued, swearing murder, and even daring to follow John into the Green. John was forced to retreat into his own body, as Abby finished making love to it. She was disgusted, and left, telling him they had no further business. John asked Swamp Thing if he fought Nergal in the Green, and the elemental responded that Nergal fled, but warned John that his revenge would come, and he mentioned Newcastle. John walked back to his flat, and found it destroyed, with all his neighbors brutally slaughtered, their limbs scattered everywhere. He finally recognized Nergalís work as the same heíd seen in Newcastle, and a hatred he found beautiful engulfed him. He went to his room to review the Newcastle file.

Comments: Created by Jamie Delano & John Ridgway.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © DC Comics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Please visit The Official DC Comics Site at: http://www.batman.com