SKULL SQUAD

Membership: Mad Jack, others unnamed

Base of Operations: Hell

First AppearanceDemon III #35 (May, 1993)

History (Demon III #35, 36) - The Skull Squad were minions of the demon Belial, and also guarded his collection of souls. The demon Etrigan and his companions Harry Matthews, Lobo and Morax were on a quest to save Harry’s soul from Hell. Etrigan’s group met Belial, who was in possession of Harry’s soul, and he agreed to exchange it for his heart, which Etrigan had once ripped out and was being kept in the Impenetrable Fortress of Flynn. Belial demanded to know why his son was helping a mortal, and Etrigan said he was trying to be the good guy of Hell. Belial in no way trusted him, so he sent his Skull Squad to shadow Etrigan and his group. Etrigan’s group was also being followed by Morax’s Torment Squads, because Morax didn’t trust Etrigan either, and the Nomads of the Wasteland, who were plundering and finishing off anyone left after Etrigan and company’s battles through Hell. Etrigan, Lobo and Morax found a way inside the Fortress of Flynn, and Lurgo and the Torment Squads stood by, waiting for them to emerge. The Nomads spotted them with a spyglass, and planned to attack them when the time was right, while the Skull Squad prepared an ambush.

(Demon III #37, 38) -Etrigan found the Thing-That-Cannot-Die within the Fortress, and he’d not only stolen Belial’s heart, but eaten it because he’d gotten hungry. Etrigan found a spell in Merlin’s Eternity Book that could create a demon’s heart. It required the sacrifice of a thousand men to use their hearts to turn into a new demon heart. Etrigan was well aware of the different factions shadowing him, and told Morax and Lobo they were going to slaughter them all and harvest their hearts. Morax admitted that his men were among those following them, but Etrigan insisted they were expendable. Morax also pointed out how outnumbered they were, but both Lobo and Etrigan agreed that losing in battle was not even a consideration for them, and they leapt headlong into a surprise attack. Etrigan and company mowed down their opposition in a killing frenzy. Morax even killed his own men, but when he spotted Lurgo he told his loyal henchman to flee. Etrigan ripped the hearts from his dead enemies and completed the ritual to make Belial’s new heart.

Comments: Created by Alan Grant & Rich Hedden.

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