REVEREND JOSHUA CROW

Real Name: Joshua Crow

Identity/Class: Human, magic user

Occupation: Former minister

Group Membership: Former head of the Assemblies of Redemption Ministries

Affiliations: Revived the Souls of the Damned (Joseph Gerhardt, Mr. Wilson, Lisa, Nikki, Satana, unnamed sociopath);
Hellstorm,
Gabriel Rosetti, Avram Siegel;
unwitting pawn of
Marduk Kurios

Enemies: Satana

Known Relatives: Unnamed mother and father

Aliases: The Junior Reverend

Base of Operations: a branch of Hell (presumably Marduk Kurios);
formerly Manhattan, New York;
formerly Memphis, Tennessee

First Appearance: Hellstorm#7 (October, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Joshua Crow was a devout minister, strong in faith and in education in the Protestant religion.

He gained the power to summon souls from Hell and place them into the body of another person who is in a vegetative state.

History:
(Hellstorm#7 (fb)-BTS) - Joshua Crow was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and he had a conservative protestant upbringing as the son of a Certified Public Accountant and a beautician. He first gained notoriety at the age of nine when he became known as the "Junior Reverend" of the Assemblies of Redemption ministries. He eventually came to head the ministries, which gained respect even from traditional detractors of the born-again movement.

(Hellstrom#8 (fb)-BTS) - At the age of 34, Crow began having dreams in which the lord spoke to him. He had visions of innocent souls trapped in Hell. The voice said that the power to release them was in Crow's hands--and the voice charged him with the task of rescuing them from the eternal fires, and giving them a second chance. Crow followed the instructions of voice and went to New York. From there he began to use his power to summon these souls from Hell and placed them in the bodies of people in a seemingly hopeless comatose state. Although he hinted as if he were resurrecting the souls of the comatose victims, he knew he was bringing souls from Hell. However, he believed he was harrowing Hell, just as Christ had done, bringing God's mercy to the Damned.
Crow performed five such "resurrections" over the following three weeks.

(Hellstorm#7) - Joshua Crow met with Gabriel Rosetti, who at the time was attempting to debunk him. When Gabriel observed the "resurrection" of Kimberly Porter, however, he was almost instantly swayed to Crow's side.

(Hellstorm#8) - Hellstorm confronted Crow with one of his earliest "resurrectees" and showed him that he was not doing the Lord's work. Daimon forced him to accept that it was actually the Devil who had spoken to him, and the souls he had reincarnated were "lightning rods for evil"--focal points which Hell would use as anchors to their reality as it tried to take them back. Through them, it would be able to manifest itself, in small ways at first, escalating as it gained strength.

(Hellstorm#8-10) - Hellstorm and Gabriel fought back the tide of demons seeking the five Souls of the Damned. Hellstorm then took the most worthy of these and stormed the gates of Heaven and gained entrance for two of them, who had gained redemption.

(Hellstorm#10) - As Crow prayed for forgiveness, Julia, the sixth soul he had resurrected--whom they had believed had already been claimed by Hell--came to thank him. She planted a big kiss on him, and then revealed herself as Satana, Daimon's sister. Satana drained his soul and sent it down into the abyss...

 

Comments: Created by Len Kaminski and Peter Gross.

Despite changing writers, I found the Hellstorm series to flow pretty nicely. While Marduk Kurios was not clearly identified until Warren Ellis's (phenomenal) run, the demon acting in the Hellstorm series as Daimon's father pretty much has to be the same guy. In Nieves' run, a demon upsets a chess game and is punished by "Satan." In Kaminski's run, the same game is referenced by the servants of that "Satan" as the manipulations are made that force Daimon to accept his birthright as the Prodigal Incarnate. Ellis' run continues directly (by way of a flashback) from the end of Kaminski's run, in which Daimon is cast down from Heaven, to Hell, and meets his father. At the conclusion of that battle (shown by Ellis), the demon is named as Marduk Kurios.
Got it? If not, just read the series. Actually, even if you do understand it, read the series anyway. It is an excellent run.

If you read the issue closely, you see that it is not so much the "crimes/sins" committed by the people which kept them from Heaven, as their inability to fully repent, shed their shame, forgive themselves, etc.

Joshua Crow's date of birth is given as 1959, which is topical. It is just meant to place him at age 34, as the issue was published in 1993.

A lot of people think "Reverend" is a noun, when it is actually an adjective, meaning revered. It is used before a person's name, much like "Honorable" is used in front of the name of a judge.
Then again, a lot of people think a lot is spelled alot.

Lisa of the Souls of the Damned recalled seeing the film the Vampire Lovers (she mentions Carmilla the vampiress), an adaptation of Carmilla by Le Fanu which, along with Captain Cronos, forms a tetrology of Karnstein vampire movies. This could mean she was already 16 or so when this film was initially released by Hammer Studios in 1970 or so, if she saw it when it first came out. Barring anything else I do not know of, it could also mean Lisa died before the modern era or at some early point into it.
 
  On another topic: The concept of one's shame forcing one to Hell has been used in Saga of the Swamp Thing#2 and in Season of the Mists (Sandman) over at DC, but is not supported by the canonical New Testament, which presents damnation as an active pursuit of YHWH.
--Per Degaton

A few definitions, courtesy of Healthlink:

A coma is a profound or deep state of unconsciousness. The affected individual is alive but is not able to react or respond to life around him/her. Coma may occur as an expected progression or complication of an underlying illness, or as a result of an event such as head trauma.

A persistent vegetative state, which sometimes follows a coma, refers to a condition in which individuals have lost cognitive neurological function and awareness of the environment but retain noncognitive function and a preserved sleep-wake cycle. It is sometimes described as when a person is technically alive, but his/her brain is dead. However, that description is not completely accurate. In persistent vegetative state the individual loses the higher cerebral powers of the brain, but the functions of the brainstem, such as respiration (breathing) and circulation, remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli, but the patient does not speak or obey commands. Patients in a vegetative state may appear somewhat normal. They may occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh.
To learn more, click on the above link.

Quote:
As a man holding a "The End is Near" sign chants, "Earthquakes! Tidal Waves! Plagues of Locusts! Know ye well the signs of the End Times!"
Hellstorm walks by and say, "Don't forget the Giant Carnivorous Toads. And the hails of Flaming Gallstones."

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

The Souls of the Damned have no known connection to:

Joseph Gerhardt has no known connection to:

Kim Porter has no known connection to:


The Souls of the Damned

They were six souls pulled from the depths of Hell by the power of the devil, via the Reverend Joshua Crow, who thought he was doing the Lord's work. The Souls of the Damned were pulled back to the mortal coil by Crow, under the guise of a miracle cure for people in a comatose/vegetative state, who served as the host bodies for the souls. The Souls were often "reunited" with their host body's family and/or friends and expected to return to their host body's life.

The souls Crow had reincarnated were actually "lightning rods for evil"--focal points which Hell would use as anchors to their reality as it tried to take them back. Through them, it would be able to manifest itself, in small ways at first, escalating as it gained strength. Hellstorm learned what was happening via his friend Avram Siegel, who's friend Anna was the husband of one of the host bodies. After discovering what was occurring, Hellstorm confronted Crow with the truth and divined the location of five souls--they figured Hell had already reclaimed the sixth.

Across New York, demons from Hell began to arrive in the vicinity of the souls, attempting to reclaim them, and attacking anything else in their path. Hellstorm saved three of the souls and escaped the demons pursuing them by taking a shortcut through Hell itself back to his home, the Fire Lake mansion. From there, they made their way to Purgatorius, the interzone between Heaven and Hell. Hellstorm fought his past an army of demons--who were violating the pact which declared Purgatorius off-limits to them. He then led them up Mount Qaf, which spanned Purgatorius, its roots reaching down into the peaks of Hell and its summit stretching to the bottom of Heaven. As they climbed, their sins and evils weighed down on them heavily: two of them accepted their actions, divested themselves of their shame, and were accepted into the Treasury of Light. A third refused to relinquish her memories and let go, falling back down into Hell. Hellstorm himself was weighed upon most heavily, but managed to make it to the top with supreme effort. Despite being barred from entrance by an Angel--possibly Armaziel, he forced his way in. There he saw that the souls were converted into energy, surrendered their identity and individuality, and merged with billions of other souls, bound together in metaplasmic fusion.

As Joseph and Lisa were absorbed into the collective, one of the Angels blasted Hellstorm out of Heaven, and he fell all the way down into the depths of Hell.

--Hellstorm#7 (8(fb), 7-10


Joseph Heinrich Gerhardt

Joseph was born in 1920 in Frankfurt, Germany. His father was a hat-maker who encouraged his to become a doctor or a lawyer. However, instead of going to college as he had planned, he was inducted as a soldier of the Nazi army. He served as a guard in Treblinka, one of the death or concentration camps. Although he did not share the Nazi hatred of Jews and other races, faces, etc., he obeyed his orders rather than facing the consequences of disobedience.

 

After the war, Joseph was overlooked by Nuremburg and went back to Frankfurt. Too old to go back to college, he learned to make hats, which he did for 20 years. He met and fell in love with a woman named Ruth, and they had planned to be married. However, when he met her parents, who were Jewish, he found himself crushed by guilt, and he fled, never speaking to Ruth again. Years later, he purchased a pesticide and noticed that the manufacturer's emblem was the same company that had produced the gas used in the death camps.

One day he felt a terrible pain in his chest, died, and was swept down to Hell. He was put to work in the Netheranium mines, without rest or food for the rest of his existence. He found the work hard and brutal, but thought that if this was punishment for his sins, it did not seem enough. Perhaps, after the war, Hell does not seem so fearful.

Then, suddenly, a ghostly hand in the darkness pulled him back up to Earth, where he inhabited the body of Nicholas, a man who had been in a coma for six weeks after surgery following an automobile accident. Joseph looked down at his new body, and saw a number tattooed on his arm, indicating Nicholas had been a prisoner of a concentration camp. Maddened, Joseph stole a scalpel and tried to cut the number off, with partial success, but he soon realized that this was his true punishment.

Nicholas' wife, Anna, quickly realized that her husband was her husband no longer, and she contacted her friend, the rabbi Avram Siegel, who in turn contacted Hellstorm, who visited them in their apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Joseph assumed that he had come to take him back to Hell, but Daimon merely forcibly pulled the truth from his mind. After discovering the true extent of what was going on, Hellstorm realized that Joseph had repented and helped his gain entrance into Heaven. While climbing Mount Qaf, Joseph shed his shame and was ultimately accepted into Heaven, where his soul was converted into energy, he surrendered his identity and individuality, and merged with billions of other souls, bound together in metaplasmic fusion.

--Hellstorm#7 (8(fb)-BTS, 7(fb), 8(fb), 7-10


Lisa

Lisa is the name of the host body into which she was placed, but no other name is given, so I'm going with Lisa for the sake of description...and who says they couldn't both be Lisa.

 

As a young girl, Lisa discovered she was attracted to women, not men. She eventually grew to understood what she was, and that she wasn't alone, but she felt shame and fear of persecution. When she died, that burden of shame and fear pulled her down into Hell.

 

Eventually, Lisa's soul was pulled back to Earth by Joshua Crow, and she placed into the body of a comatose woman. However, in order to live out her life in that body, she found herself having to comply with the desires of that body's husband, Jake, for fear of otherwise being cast back down into Hell. Not too longer after, however, the demons of Hell, traced her to her home in Chelsea. They inhabited her husband's body and prepared to drag her back down to Hell. Lisa was rescued by Avram Siegel and Joseph/Nicholas, and Hellstorm helped her gain entrance into Heaven. While climbing Mount Qaf, Lisa shed her shame and was ultimately accepted into Heaven, where her soul was converted into energy, and she surrendered his identity and individuality, and merged with billions of other souls, bound together in metaplasmic fusion.

 

--Hellstorm#7 (10(fb), 7-10

 


Nikki

Nikki <I think a page was missing in the text> lost a man in her life, possibly her father, and it's unclear whether they had a good or unnatural relationship. At any rate, she got involved with other men early on in life, filling the empty space where he should have been with sex, drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll...convinced herself she was happy...until the car crash took her life...and she was cast down into Hell...where she remained for fifteen years.

 

 

Kimberly Porter suffered from a cerebral accident that raved her brain and left her in a vegetative state for six months. Joshua Crow reached down into Hell and pulled out Nikki's soul and placed it into Kim's body. Nikki, after recovering and regaining her bearings, escaped from the hospital, ditched Kim's parents, and headed right back to her old ways, looking for a man from which to score some drink and anything else she could get, trading some lovin' for a warm bed.

Down in the East Village, her wild ways drew the attention of another of the Souls of the Damned, a sociopath who sought her as his next victim. She was saved by Hellstorm, who decided to offer her a chance to get into Heaven. However, while climbing Mount Qaf, she found that she didn't want to lose her memories and identity, and she was not repentant for her life. As a result, as the weight of her sins pushed down on her relentlessly, she eventually let go and fell back into the depths of Hell.

--Hellstorm#7 (10(fb), 7-10

 


Mr. Wilson

 

He was child molester in life, and went to Hell after his death. He eventually was returned to Earth by Joshua and placed into the body of another man, Mr. Wilson, who had been in a coma. Back on Earth, in Queens, he tried to repent, although the temptation was maddening for him. Whether he would have broken or not is moot, because the demons of Hell tracked him down, and in the form of demon-children, drug him back down to Hell.

 

--Hellstorm#8

 

 

 

 


sociopath

 

He was a depraved serial killer, who slaughtered women after abusing and torturing them. After being executed by the electric chair, he was sent to Hell. His souls was brought back to Earth years later by Joshua Crow and placed into the body of a comatose man. He went right back to his old ways, and targeted Nikki, a woman in the East Village who was actually another of the Souls of the Damned. Before he could act, he was located by Hellstorm, who hazed into his soul and sent him back to Hell.

 

--Hellstorm#7 (8(fb), 7-10

 

 


Satana

 

The forgotten sixth Soul of the Damned, she was placed into the body of a woman named Julia. By the time what Crow was doing was realized and Hellstorm and the others moved to put a halt to things, only five of the Souls could be detected by Daimon. He assumed the sixth had already been pulled back to Hell. After the other souls had been dealt with, Julia approached Father Crow and revealed herself to him, sucking out his soul and casting it down to Hell.

 

Read Satana's own profile to learn more about her.

 

--Hellstorm#10

 


images: (without ads)
Hellstorm#7, p6, pan3 (head shot)
  #10, p20, pan 7 (killed by Satana)
  #7, p16, pan6 (Joseph Heinrich Gerhardt)
  #10, p2, pan5 (Nicholas)
  #10, p8, pan1 (Lisa)
  #8, p21, pan5 (Lisa's host)
  #10, p9, pan4 (Nikki)
  #8, p22, pan5 (Kimberly Porter)
  #8, p10, pan1 (Mr. Wilson)
  #8, p11, pan3 (evil children)
  #8, p12, pan5 (sociopath)
  #10, p20, pan4 (Julia, Satana's host)


Other appearances:
Hellstorm#8-10 (November, 1993 - January, 1994) - Len Kaminski (writer), Peter Gross & Mark Badger (#9) (artist), Fabian Nicieza (editor)


Last updated: 02/16/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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