SIN-EATER

Real Name: Ethan Domblue

Identity/Class: Human Magic User

Occupation: Preacher, servant of Centurious

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Centurious

Enemies: Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Zarathos

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: First Church of the Mortal Redeemer, Holly, in an unknown midwestern state

First Appearance: Ghost Rider II#80 (May 1983)

Powers: Sin-Eater had the ability to transfer human souls into the Crystal of Souls, a mystical artifact owned by Centurious.

History: (Ghost Rider II#80 (fb, bts) Ethan Domblue was a pastor in the town of Holly. Much concerned about his community, he felt ineffectual in leading his congregants, so he eagerly accepted an offer from the immortal malcontent Centurious. Domblue gained supernatural powers that he believed enabled him to purify others or "eat" their sins. In fact, all he did was transfer people's spirits into the Crystal of Souls, leaving husks to serve as Centurious' slaves.

 

(Ghost Rider II#80 (fb)) Roxanne Simpson, ex-lover of Johnny Blaze, traveled to Holly to visit her aunt Ida. She witnessed the day that the previously mild-mannered Domblue announced that he was now the Sin-Eater. Soon, individual citizens of Holly went to the Sin-Eater to undergo the purification process. Roxanne, seeing the vacuous features of those who had undergone the purification process, left Holly. She sought out Johnny Blaze--as Centurious had planned.

(Ghost Rider II#80) Roxanne and Johnny arrived in Holly. Roxanne's cousin Charlie remarked on how Domblue seemed to have taken over the whole town.

Earlier, Paul, Roxanne's uncle, mentioned to Domblue that Blaze was coming. So, Domblue came over for dinner. Charlie made some snide comments to Domblue, which he shrugged off. Charlie challenged Domblue, and demanded to experience Domblue's alleged purification process. To that end, Charlie left with Domblue.

 

At midnight, Charlie returned, and Blaze saw how the same vacuous cast of the face now could be seen on Charlie. Blaze decided to investigate by attending a ceremony at the First Church of the Mortal Redeemer. In a back room, Centurious had a meeting with Domblue, who informed him of Blaze's presence. Domblue then went and gave a hackneyed, nonsensical sermon. After this, a dozen people came up to the front to undergo "purification". Domblue performed the ritual.

Blaze, thinking that Domblue might have the power to cure him of his bond with Zarathos, went up to the preacher. However, Blaze then saw a tentacle come up from the floor--along with Domblue's horrific, demonic face. Blaze turned into Ghost Rider, and Centurious revealed himself. A pitched battle followed, only ending when Centurious temporarily managed to turn Ghost Rider back to Blaze. Centurious then had his slaves take Roxanne hostage. Centurious demanded that Blaze allow his spirit to be transferred into the Crystal of Souls. Blaze did, and Sin-Eater swallowed his soul.

(Ghost Rider II#81) Centurious departed with Domblue and his slaves. Without Blaze's soul present, Zarathos took complete control of Blaze's body.

Elsewhere, Centurious revealed to Sin-Eater that they would take Domblue's ministry on the road. Millions could become Centurious' slaves. However, Centurious expected something even more amusing to transpire soon.

Sure enough, Zarathos arrived, and knocked around Centurious. However, suddenly, Zarathos started losing strength. Centurious revealed that without Blaze's soul connected to him, Zarathos would gradually fade from Earth. Centurious then departed with a caravan of cars and trucks driven by his slaves.

Later, Centurious had his slaves stop to make an encampment outside of town. Centurious stopped to recharge himself using the Crystal of Souls. He told Domblue that Sin-Eater's Traveling Salvation Show would be on its way. However, Domblue had second thoughts about the justness of their actions. Unwilling to accept insubordination, Centurious mortally wounded Domblue.

 

Then Roxanne arrived with a weakened Zarathos in tow. Centurious, holding the Crystal of Souls, watched with pleasure as the feeble Zarathos tried to make his way to him. His amusement turned to dread when, with one last effort, Zarathos lunged forward and managed to cleave the Crystal of Souls in half. The souls in the shattered gem escaped before it resealed itself, but Centurious was sucked inside.

Zarathos, in the grip of unthinking rage, was distraught that Centurious was stuck in the Crystal, where Zarathos could not reach him. Domblue, still barely alive, with Zarathos' permission, sent Zarathos' spirit into the crystal. Domblue then expired.

Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis and Bob Budiansky.

After Domblue transferred Zarathos into the Crystal of Souls, and everyone had left the encampment, Mephisto caused an earthquake to occur, which somehow caused the Crystal of Souls to fall into his Hell. Mephisto then cackled as he watched Zarathos and Centurious battle each other inside.

Zarathos was next seen in Amazing Spider-Man I#274 (March 1986), when the Beyonder briefly freed him from the gem.

If Domblue had survived, I can imagine that Sin-Eater's Traveling Salvation Show would have been a hit for Neil Diamond the way Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show was.

By Per Degaton

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

Centurious, the Man without a Soul, @ Ghost Rider II#74 should be distinguished from:

 


Appearances:
Ghost Rider II#80-81 (May-June, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Bob Budiansky (pencils), Kevin Dzubin & Danny Bulanadi (#81) (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)


Last updated03/04/03

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