Origin Story – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 22

Expelling the shadow demon from his unwilling host was only the first step, of course – he still needs to be dealt with in his revealed true form.

And that doesn’t appear to be easy, given his size and demonic power, which he underlines by a display of physical and verbal violence…but then it turns out to be surprisingly easy, since Gregory’s magic hat happens to work exactly as it should, for once. I think I’ve pointed out before how convenient the hat’s unpredictability is, for writing purposes. Here the demon was supposed to be disposed with quickly, so – Presto! (pun intended) – the hat’s on the top (pun intended) of its game.

Of course, the hat doing its bit requires a user who knows what they’re doing – but Gregory is up to that, in this case. Many aspects of this fantasy world may still be alien to him, but the fact that any kind of magical creature with that pointy tail-like lower body structure* can be entrapped in a magical lamp can be gleaned easily enough from our world’s pop culture.

I’ve left out the actual process of getting the demon into the lamp, as well as the even more drawn-out process of getting the lamp into the Cave of Wonders. Since our heroes hardly have the time for any excursions into the Southern Desert right now, they probably just sent it via UPS. Probably putting some “Do not rub!” stickers on the package, for safety.

In lieu of those parts of the story, I allowed myself a little excursion detailing the further fate of the shadow demon. As you can see, centuries spent within the confines of the lamp changed him physically as well as mentally. Mentally, he’s a lot more good-natured than before…but a lot less stable, as well. Physically, he has clearly suffered from the Smurf-effect…an ailment named after a group of gnomes who developed a noticeable azure hue to their skin after living in an all-male society for a couple of centuries.

For depicting the djinn, I was torn between the good version and the new one, so I ended up making a mash-up of both.

More on Thurs…uh, Monday.

* Possibly excluding Danny Phantom (at least as far as canon is concerned, I’d wager a bet that the scenario has been explored in fan-fiction =P).

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