Jersey Devil #9, 10
[South Jersey Rebellion Productions $1.75 US $2.70 CAN 1.20 UK B&W ]
Written by Tony DiGerolamo / #9 Pencilled by Dom LaGrutta, Jr. & Brian S Dawson / Inked by Barry Chabala / #10 Pencilled by Brendon Fraim / Inked by Brian Fraim
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Jersey Devil #9Issue nine introduces us to a tongue-in-cheek tale of the Jersey Devil of 2135. A global catastrophe has left “a world of crossbows and robots, super computers and feudal lords, radioactive mutants and artificially created humans." Juan Three is a genetically engineered being (part bat, ram, human and cat) created by the Dream Machine, “a cybernetically enhanced computer” created by the SJR company to give it a competitive edge in the bioentertainment business. Civilization is in a shambles now but the DM still wants credits and sends its genetically engineered tax collectors out to get them by any means necessary.

After discovering that he is soon to be replaced by a smarter, prettier tax collector Juan Three decides he needs friends now that he won’t have the DM looking out for his needs. Of course, that’s easier said than done because all of the “taxpayers” are afraid of him. Juan stumbles upon an old comic shop and not being too bright he decides to win friends and influence people by fighting baddies as the Jersey Devil.

The story ends up being fun and a nice break from the usually grim Jersey Devil stories. I look forward to reading another JD of 2135 one-shot in the future.

Issue ten is entitled “The Flim Flam Man” and gives us Tony DiGerolamo’s version of the Great Jersey Devil Hoax of 1909. The hoax was perpetrated by a press agent for a dime museum of oddities much like P.T. Barnum ran. In DiGerolamo’s story the T.F. Hopkins 9th and Arch Museum is in danger of closing and Norman Jeffries must come up with an act that will pack the house. Jeffries and the animal trainer for the museum, Jacob Hope, come up with their own version of the Jersey (or Leeds) Devil in the form of a kangaroo painted and decorated to look like a creature out of myth.

Tony DiGerolamo sprinkles samples of headlines from the time throughout the story which gives the reader an interesting historical overview of the hysteria surrounding the sightings. Norman Jeffries and his long-suffering accomplice, Jacob are a perfect team and their attempts to pull off the capture of the Jersey Devil make this issue another entertaining romp through the world of the Jersey Devil.

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