Spring-heeled Jack, “the Terror of London,” is a well-known monstrous villain of Victorian urban legend. Though generally human in appearance, Spring-heeled Jack is said to have demonic characteristics such as bulbous glowing eyes, long, sharp claws of metal, and sometimes even horns. He was often seen in England and Scotland in a bat-like, black winged cloak and a tight suit of black and white oilskin, not unlike a twentieth-century comic book character’s costume. Reports of Spring-heeled Jack speaking, or indeed making any sound, are rare, and it is possible he is mute, though there have been reports of victims hearing fiendish laughter. Another unnatural characteristic commonly attributed to Jack is his ability to spit blue flame. Spring-heeled Jack’s most famous attribute, though, is his ability to escape capture by leaping over tall gates and walls.
“The Saint of Last Resorts” is the first half of a two-episode story. The second half will air in its new 8pm time slot on Friday, January 16, 2015. There are a lot of references to new groups and creatures, so a little explanation of terminology may be in order.
•Brujeria: The Brujeria are members of an ancient coven of warlocks from South America. They are incredibly evil, and for centuries have worked toward the goal of destroying Heaven and unleashing powerful entities of greatest malevolence upon the earthly plane in pursuit of that goal. The Rising Darkness is not just facilitating their plans—the Brujeria are in fact the actual cause of the Rising Darkness. They are that powerful and malicious. The Brujeria’s “central committee” is called The Council of the Cave, the members of which are under the protection of a monster of their own creation: the invunche. Continue reading
“Girls, Girls, Girls” had a few really good moments, though it is probably one of the weakest episodes so far in what has been an outstanding Season 10. Some of the best parts were a revelation (who knew we would become so attached to Hannah?), while other great moments were less of a surprise because of the consistently strong characters on Supernatural (you can always count on Crowley). There were several separate storylines occurring, which is not unusual on Supernatural since Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins have both become season regulars. The multiple storylines worked mainly because the narrative with Castiel and Hannah was so compelling. The scenes with Castiel and Hannah were also beautifully filmed, which we appreciate in a series with sequences that often take place in dimly lit rooms, dark alleys, the Impala, Hell, or purgatory. Even when Sam and Dean have visited Heaven the scenes were generally dark both in terms of content and images. Seeing the angels Castiel and Hannah in a beautiful, natural environment just feels right, a heaven on earth, as it were, and is a nice contrast with the demon Crowley in the gloomy, prison-like atmosphere of administrative Hell. “Girls, Girls, Girls” places Sam and Dean squarely into their traditional hunter roles.
The King of Hell received quite a surprise during Episode 7 of Supernatural, “Girls, Girls, Girls.” When Crowley discovered that someone was killing his demons, he sent out his minions to capture the offender. Upon close examination, he was shocked to find that the witch causing all the trouble in town was his own mother. Though her appearance was a surprise to Crowley, some Supernatural viewers had guessed the identity of the mysterious red-haired woman when Rowena was first introduced. As we are expecting to see more of Rowena during Season 10, this is a good chance to explore the signs that connected this witch to the demon Crowley.
In the fourth installment of the new series, Constantine’s sorry old friend Gary Lester appears. Gaz captured a demon in Khartoum, and managed to keep it bottled until his arrival in Atlanta, where it is released by a customs agent at the airport. Mnemoth is a hunger demon, manifesting as a swarm of insects, that inhabits human bodies in order to ravenously feed. While possessed by Mnemoth, the affected person goes on an unstoppable frenzy, indiscriminately and wildly shoving whatever even looks like food into their mouth until they physically destruct. At that point, the body shrivels, and Mnemoth escapes the dying and used-up vessel, swarming again to find its next unfortunate host. Continue reading
The excellent and scary webcomic The Fox Sister has its roots in a Korean fairy tale of the same name. The comic, still in progress and updated on Tuesdays (when the artists are not too busy with other things!), is set in Seoul in the late 1960s. It is the story of a young Mugyo priestess and her battle with a kumiho—a nine-tailed werevixen demon. Continue reading
In the quarter-century since The DC/Vertigo horror comic Hellblazer began its run, the television landscape has changed to include many shows that follow a similar “occult detective” format: Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, and the (sadly short-lived) Dresden Files, to name just a few. But fans of John Constantine have waited a long time for a series featuring our favorite anti-hero. Time will tell if NBC can finally pull it off, but the pilot episode seems at least promising.
“Paper Moon” is a good old-fashioned Monster of the Week Supernatural episode. The boys’ development as hunters and brothers is shown during the opening montage. The reference reminds us why we love Supernatural so much: hunting provides excitement and suspense, while the characters’ relationships provide meaning and investment for the viewer. We get a chance to revisit Sam and Dean’s previous dealings with werewolves—mostly involving Sam or Dean killing them, but also showing how their relations with lycanthropes became increasingly complex over the course of their hunting career. Werewolves have been a staple of Supernatural’s terrestrial monster repertoire from the beginning.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? […] if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” —Genesis IV:7, 8
The Croucher is an invisible Mesopotanian entrance demon. The customs still observed today of removing one’s shoes before entering a domicile, and carrying a bride over the threshold, may originate with primeval fear of the Croucher. Although unseen, its presence can be felt near doorways when one has the sensation of one’s hair standing on end.
The Croucher is one among many demonic spirits categorized as the rabisu—”those who lie in wait.” While some rabisu, like the Croucher, have been animalistic and vampiric in nature since before the Babylonian Empire, it is believed by some that the rabisu were once malakim of Heaven and fell at the time of the Morningstar’s rebellion, making them amongst the most ancient of earthly demons.
The first episode of Season Ten of Supernatural helped us to get a sense of our bearings, providing opportunity for a lot of action as we move forward. The “THEN” montage concentrated on the end of last season and the previous episode, indicating that we will continue to focus on our current theme: Just how evil is Dean and what is Sam going to do about it? Though Supernatural stand-alone episodes are great, delving deeper into a season’s theme often provides a more intense viewing experience.