Real Name: Gideon Cross
Identity/Class: Human magic user
Occupation: Demon hunter, former soldier, enforcer
Affiliations: former Damian Severs, Harvester of Night Cult
Enemies: Harvester of Night Cult, Astoroth
Known Relatives: unnamed wife (separated)
Base of Operations: Unknown.
First Appearance: Demon Hunter #1 (Atlas Comics, September 1975)
Powers/Abilities: The Cult gave Gideon Cross a shadow cloak and telepathic abilities, both of which he retained after leaving them.
History: Vietnam veteran Gideon Cross found it hard to adjust when he returned to the U.S. after his tour of duty. He finds new purpose when he is inducted into the Harvester of Night Cult, working as an enforcer (or Harvester of Eyes) for them. They in turn sell his services to Damian Severs, a man with connections to the Mafia. While Cross works for him as a bodyguard and assassin, depending on what Severs asks of him, Severs in turn pays for this service with flasks of his own blood.
Having concluded his business with Severs, Cross heads for a rendezvous to deliver the blood to another cult member, when he spots a newspaper headline saying that Severs is dead. Then Cross is attacked by a demon at his contact point, sent by the fearful cult to eliminate him before he can betray them. Surviving, he decides to go to Nigeria, where the Dark Retreat, the Secret Sanctum of the cult, is located. Sneaking in, he witnesses the Cult performing a ritual using the life essence of Damian Severs to revive Astoroth, Grand Duke of Hell. Astoroth in turn has a plan - Xenogenesis, the re-birth of the demon race on Earth. Realising he cannot battle the entire cult at once, Cross flees, but he has a new purpose in life. He will prevent the re-birth, he will be a Demon Hunter.
"What does a Demon Hunter do ?"
"Everything he can to prevent Xenogenesis... the rebirth of a demon race here on earth ! His name ? Gideon Cross. He is a telepath."
Comments: Mike Murphy notes that "After the collapse of Atlas, Rich Buckler took his Demon Hunter concept to Marvel, re-named it Devil-Slayer (where it appeared in Marvel Spotlight #33, trading blows with Buckler's Deathlok the Destroyer) and appearing in the Defenders numerous times." Thanks to Grant Forsythe for additional information regarding Gideon Cross' wife.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Demons
any other Hunters
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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