Membership: Apocalypse, Arachne, Blood-Tide,
Phineas T. Coroner, Death-Flame, Katabolik, Poison-Lark, Reaper, Rigor, Sister Saint;
Griffins, Justin, numerous cult-members
Enemies: Morbius, Howie Rivers, Amanda Saint
Base of Operations: Sects were known to
exist in San Francisco, California and Malevolence, Maine.
They apparently sought the town of Gallow's Bend, Nevada as their primary base.
First Appearance: Vampire Tales I#2 (October 1973)
History: The origins of the cult known as Demon-Fire are as yet unrevealed. Members of the cult gained power by either merging with or allowing a demon to enter their form. When first encountered, in San Francisco, they were seeking to sacrifice the virgin Amanda Saint in order to gain power.
(VampTales#2, 3/6) - Amanda was apparently chosen due to her familiarity with several cult members. Her sister, Catherine, was the member Poison-Lark. Her mother served as cult member Sister Saint. Her boyfriend, Justin, was a cult member and set her up to be ambushed by the cult. The living vampire Morbius saved her from their initial ambush, but she was captured at her own house when her sister let them in. They attempted to sacrifice her to the spider demon Arachne, but Morbius defended her again, slaying Arachne, and bring down their base on top of them, apparently killing a number of cult members, including Katabolik and Poison-Lark. Justin managed to escape.
(VampTales#4-5) - Amanda knew her mother had been involved with a cult, and tracked her to Malevolence, Maine. Blood-Tide, leader of the sect in Malevolence, sought to slay Amanda and Morbius, who had accompanied her. In the process, Blood-Tide and Sister Saint were killed. Amanda and Morbius then made their way to Nevada, on the trail of her father, her last living relative.
(VampTales#7-8) - Apocalypse, apparent leader of the cult, sought to obtain the Old West-style amusement park in Gallow's Bend, Nevada for use as the cult's base. In his human guise as Mr. Kazarian he attempted to coerce Howie Rivers, owner of the park, to sell it to him, including summoning some griffin-like demons to attack him.
When Morbius and Amanda arrived, they were attacked by agents of Apocalypse, including Death-Flame, Reaper, Rigor, and Phineas T. Coroner. They taunted her with the body of her father, whom they had recently hanged. Morbius, with aid from a local named Sagebrush Robbins, succeeded in overcoming their attackers.
Apocalypse then confronted them and summoned the rest of the cult members, who revealed their true demonic forms. Rivers then arrived, and--together with Morbius and Robbins--rigged the park with dynamite. Rivers sacrificed his park, but apparently succeeded in killing Apocalypse and the rest of the cult.
Comments: Created by Don McGregor and Rich Buckler. The story was obviously in black and white.
If you find this summary disjointed and confusing, it might be because the story itself is that way as well. The cult's goal seemed to be just to be evil, and to plague Amanda Saint. I'm not sure if they wanted to takeover the world or what, but their plans seemed to be pretty small-potatoes. The individual members had some interesting things about them. I don't see any of them coming back for round two, though.
If anyone can explain what this story was about, I'd appreciate it. Vampire Tales magazines are hard to find.
Demon-Fire has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1970's Handbook.
images: (without ads)
Vampire Tales#3 (February, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Vampire Tales#4 (April, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Tom Sutton (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Vampire Tales#5 (June, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Ernie Chua (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Vampire Tales#7 (October, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Tom Sutton (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Vampire Tales#8 (December, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Mike Vosburg (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Last updated: 01/09/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Back to Characters