The Demon (1972-2011)
The tension between the Demon himself and his human vessel, Jason Blood, defined Etrigan’s early years. Following Jason’s discovery of the poem that allowed him to transform into Etrigan, and the resurgence of Morgan Le Fay, both Jason and Etrigan found themselves at a crossroads. Jason attempted to focus Etrigan’s powers on serving the greater good, but the Demon was beholden to his own will and motivation when he was in control. This led to a love-hate relationship for both Jason and Etrigan with the rest of the Super Heroes in the DC Universe.
Years after his introduction and the birth of his daughter, Jason attempted to put a stop to Etrigan for good by hiring a metahuman assassin named Tommy Monaghan, a.k.a. Hitman. Monaghan was unable to carry out the contract, but—following an attack against Merlin and Etrigan—was able to bind Etrigan’s will to Jason’s, neutralizing the chaotic side effects of the Demon’s transformation (THE DEMON: SUFFER THE CHILDREN, 1994-1995).
Alas, the freedom afforded to Jason did not last. After Jason failed to pay Monaghan the two million dollars he owed him, Monaghan traded his own heart to Etrigan in exchange for a mystical weapon, the Ace of Winchesters. The exchange returned Etrigan to his full power capacity and left Jason unable to assert his will over the Demon.
The 2005-2006 series BLOOD OF THE DEMON explained some of the intricacies of the limitations set on Etrigan by the wizard Merlin during his original summoning. Jason was once again able to exert some of his own willpower over Etrigan’s violent impulses, but his control remained unreliable.
The New 52 (2011-2016)
Following 2011’s FLASHPOINT, Etrigan was given a new origin story. Rather than the product of an inadvertent summoning by Merlin, Etrigan was shown as a demon who attempted to start an ultimately unsuccessful rebellion against Lucifer. Lucifer himself then passed Etrigan on to Merlin. The wizard then intentionally bound Etrigan to Jason Blood in an attempt to fulfill a prophecy that stated that Jason must be put on an eternal quest, lest he prompt the fall of Camelot.
The binding made Jason immortal, and he and Etrigan traveled the world with a band of other occult adventurers.
Their team—composed of immortals and magic users like Madame Xanadu, the Shining Knight and Vandal Savage—was short-lived. Etrigan hatched a plot to sell his teammates’ souls to gain favor in Hell. For this betrayal, Jason vowed to prevent himself from transforming. Eventually, the team was forced to seal Etrigan in a magical tomb beneath London, but the imprisonment granted Etrigan the ability to possess other mortals should he ever be freed.