"DEMONS" OF CASTILE
Classification: Sub-species of humanity (Inhumans) affected by extraterrestrial (Skrull) DNA
Location/Base of Operations: Caverns near the coast of Spanish Castile
Known Members: None named
Enemies: EuroLab ( Danger/Dolph Dongen, Deep Sight/Jane Melville, Key/Geyr Kluge, Nuage/Silvie Rouge, Picaro/Antonio Rey), Moloid Subterraneans, Task Force (Argento/Michele Argento, Blue Condor/Emilie Scholz, Dragonfly/Cornelia van der Valk, Iceboy/Hamish Alain Carlyle, Tiger/Hughes Aït-Kaci)
First Appearance: Europa#0/2 (April 1996)
Powers/Abilities: The "demons" possess limited shapeshifting abilities; their default form appears visually insectoid (though lacking the requisite number of limbs), with two large upper maxillary projections and two smaller lower mandibular projections framing the face/mouth, two lengthy arms covered in small protruding tendrils and ending in clawed hands possessing three fingers and an opposable thumb, an extended torso that merges into a tail-like hindquarters with no legs, and a back lined with protruding nodules. However, they can grow a number of additional features, including additional claw-fingered limbs from the nodules, up to at least four pairs, and bat-like ears; they can also absorb the facial mandibles. They can also extend their prehensile tongue several feet to ensnare victims. Whether they can shapeshift in other ways remains unrevealed.
Traits: Violently aggressive subterranean predators apparently willing to devour any species.
Type: Bilaterally symmetric semi-humanoid insectoid
Eyes: Two (on head; green and red colors seen)
Fingers: Three (plus opposing thumbs)
Toes: None normally; four when additional limbs are sprouted
Skin color: Gray-white
Average height: Variable (initially about 5'10", but seen to grow/stretch to in excess of 7')
(Europa#0/2 (fb)) - During the time of the Spanish Inquisition
(see comments) a group of Inhumans trying to make their way to northern
Europe to reunite with others of their race were arrested. Visibly non-human,
they were judged to be demons, but rather than be burned at the stake, they
were thrown over a deep precipice into extensive caverns. A few survived
the fall, and, unable to escape the caves, scraped a living, eating whatever
they could find, including the remains of their dead companions.
time later the Inquisition found more "demons"; the remains of a crashed
Skrull ship and its crew. These too were dropped into the caves, where the
Skrull corpses were devoured by the hungry Inhumans. The ingested Skrull
DNA transmitted the aliens' shapeshifting abilities to the Inhumans (and
probably increased their aggressiveness - see comments).
Driven insane they gradually devolved into savage predators, but before they did so, one or more of the Inhumans inscribed an account of how they had come to this sorry state in Castilian on the cavern walls. Over subsequent centuries, their descendants degenerated into a colony of predators.
(Europa#0/2 (fb) - BTS) - The descendants apparently did not retain the Skrulls' full range of shapeshifting powers, nor the original Inquisition victims' human-level intelligence or desire to escape the caverns (see comments). At some point they encountered Moloid Subterraneans (see comments), who they preyed on as another source of food. In the modern day an archeological dig uncovered the caverns, whose upper levels had been used by the Inquisition to store treasures considered contrary to their puritanical version of Catholic morality. However, they also soon caught sight of "giant bugs" and uncovered recent remains which appeared part human and part something else. The archeologists contacted EuroMind, who sent their scientific team EuroLab to investigate.
(Europa#0/2) - The intruders' presence was soon detected, and EuroLab's telepath Nuage sensed them rousing. One creature, nearer to the intruders than its kin were, was spotted by EuroLab's Picaro, who initially thought it wasn't hostile. However, having apparently decided the newcomers were food, the creature began transforming into a more monstrous form, even as several of its kin entered the vicinity, seemingly drawn by EuroLab's lights.
The first monster snared EuroLab's Danger with an elongated tongue, but the mutant swiftly dissuaded it by using the tongue to conduct a painful blast of energy into his assailant. This angered the other creatures, who pursued EuroLab as they tried to avoid a fight by withdrawing into an adjacent cavern to search for a tunnel to ascend back to the surface. Instead they found remains of the original Inhumans and a group of Moloid Subterraneans. Mistakenly assuming that EuroLab were hostile like the other residents of the region, the Moloids swarmed Picaro en masse even as the creatures reached Danger, acting as EuroLab's rearguard. The cyborg Deep Sight joined Danger in trying to hold back the horde while the others dealt with the Moloids.
EuroLab's back-up, the rapid-strike team Task Force, dropped down into the caverns and into the fray, and began gunning down creatures and Moloids alike until Nuage convinced them that the Moloids were merely frightened and disoriented. Accepting this, and with more creatures rapidly arriving to bolster the true hostiles' numbers, Task Force concentrated on the creatures instead. Reaching out telepathically, Nuage convinced the Moloids to join forces against their common enemies, but even working together the heroes and Moloids risked being overwhelmed as more and more creatures arrived. Detecting thirty more creatures inbound, but also fresh air that hinted at an exit to the surface, they fled to another part of the caverns. The creatures pursued, but as they began to enter the new cavern Task Force's commander Dragonfly used explosive rounds to demolish a rock arch marking the boundary between the caverns. Destroyed, it brought down the roof on top of the creatures, apparently slaying them all.
In the immediate aftermath, the humans discovered the inscriptions left by the original Inhumans and thus learned of the creatures' origins.
Comments: Created by Xavier Marturet and Paco Diaz for Marvel Italia.
The creatures in the caverns weren't given a name in the story. They are mutated or Skrullified subterranean Inhumans, but that's an awkward title for a profile. Since they were deemed demons by the Inquisition, and the events took place in Castile, I've decided to call them the Demons of Castile, at least until a better name comes along.
The exact date that the Inhumans were imprisoned in the caverns was not provided, but since it was during the time of the Spanish Inquisition it had to be between November 1, 1478 and July 15, 1834.
The story doesn't say outright that it was the Skrull DNA that made the "Demons" aggressive. It might instead or also be down to being trapped underground for centuries, which wouldn't help the sanity. However, upon hearing about the Skrull ingestion aspect of the creatures' backgrounds, Nuage recalls Reed Richards' reports on the similarly Skrull-DNA-infected populace of King's Crossing, and those guys gained war-like tendencies from the DNA as well as shapeshifting powers.
It's not impossible that the creatures remained as intelligent as their original Inhumans from whom they were descended. However, if they were, they displayed no evidence of it, simply attacking everyone like mindless animals, with neither any attempts to communicate nor any strategy in battle. Likewise, it is feasible they could shapeshift as completely as Skrulls can, but again they displayed no evidence of this. You'd imagine that if the original survivors had gained a full-range of shapeshifting powers they would have easily escaped the caverns by growing wings. The Moloids presumably had ways to get in and out of the caverns; if that wasn't the case, they would have either starved like the trapped Inhumans had or been wiped out by the superior numbers of the massively aggressive creatures. Since the creatures were still in the original caverns but the Moloids presumably had a way to travel elsewhere in the larger subterranean world, the creatures presumably had no desire to leave what had become their home.
Profile by Loki, with comic translations by Angelo Mammone.
The "Demons of Castile" have no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Europa#0/2, p10, pan 3-7 (main, shifting between forms)
Europa#0/2, p22, pan 2-6 (origin story)
Europa#0/2, p11, pan 3 (tongue attack)
Europa#0/2, p12, pan 6 (insectoid face with elongated body and extra arms)
Europa#0/2, p10, pan 8 (attacking horde)
Europa#0/2, p9, pan 7 (default form)
Europa#0 (April,1996) - Xavier Marturet (writer), Paco Diaz (art), Enrico Fornaroli; Marco M. Lupoi; Miguel Carrasco (editors)
First Posted: 01/17/2019
Last updated: 01/17/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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