Devil's Due

Tony DiGerolamo's Jersey Devil #4
48 pages, b&w, $2.95

Tony DiGerolamo

Dom LaGrutta,Jr.
(pages 1-30),
Brian Dawson (pages 31-45)

Cover Pencils:
Dom LaGrutta,Jr.,
Jeff Zapatta,
Tom Hodges

Cover Photo:
Bob Luce

Police Props Provided by:
Dave Luce

Donn Smith
(pages 1-30),
Carmen Imperato (pages 31-45)

Kevin Daily


Distribution: Previews (August '97), SyCo First shipped: October '97

First Appearances:
Letters page (Devil Worship)

Issue quirks: Wrap around photo cover with color artwork.

Issue Events: Who is J.D.? contest winners announced, Note from the Creator announces future SJR projects and Carmen Imperato's previous work, first J.D. story concluded with J.D.'s identity revealed.

This gives away the ending
to the first story arc.

Issue Synopsis: J.D. and Arthur return to the Pine Barrens to find it crawling with tourists. Ferro, Cory and the other punks return to the woods to avenge Red. They are secretly egged on by Nate. Samuel and Jarlo spot Burbank and Del Ray. They come to the woods to drop off Watts and a team of mercenaries, who have been hired to kill J.D.

J.D. confronts a group of hunters, taking their guns and ordering them out of the woods. Officer Vern urges a young couple to get out of the wood before the gun fire gets out of control. At the same time, a Desert Storm veteran, suffering from post traumatic stress, snaps when his friend is shot. He guards his friend, waiting for rescue that will never come.

J.D. puts Arthur back at his hide out and confronts the punks. J.D. scares them away. At the same time, Ryder and Hayworth run into Vern, who is shot by the Desert Storm veteran. Ryder and Hayworth take cover with a family, whose father was in Vietnam.

Just when it looks hopeless, J.D. swings to the rescue, carrying Vern to safety. Ryder confronts J.D., but the Desert Storm vet continues to fire. Hayworth and Ryder carry Vern to safety, while J.D. provides a distraction. He manages to subdue the Desert Storm vet, but his friend has already bled to death.

Arthur arrives on the scene, but before J.D. can stop them, the mercenaries kill the dog. J.D. goes berserk and, one by one, kills off the mercenaries, using the woods to his advantage. Watts gets the drop on him, but is shot and killed by Holly Woods.

Holly believes J.D. is Joey Benzine, who she is in love with. J.D. assures her that Joey didn't love anyone but himself and she runs away crying. Just as J.D. is about to leave, Agent Ichi confronts him and forces him, at gun point, to follow an old map.

The map leads them to Captain Kidd's treasure, which Nate has been guarding all along. Lying at the treasure spot is the body of Joey Benzine. J.D. recaps how Benzine and then Ichi found Nate's treasure map. Before Ichi can shoot J.D., Nate possesses her and forces her to kill herself. He reveals to J.D. that he's been toying with him all along, using him to keep people away from his treasure.

J.D., however, knows Nate's secret and why Captain Kidd killed him. Nate gets furious, possesses a tree and attacks J.D. Just when it seems he will be killed, he calls upon Arthur. Now a ghost, the dog attacks Nate.

J.D. grabs Ichi, tosses a stick of dynamite into the hole where the treasure is and dives away as it explodes. The treasure, the whole reason Nate still haunted the woods, is destroyed. Ichi begins to die, but pulls off J.D.'s mask. She doesn't recognize him.

Back at the roadside, Ryder and Hayworth come to and understanding about their relationship. As Officer Vern is loaded into an ambulance he begins shouting, claiming he knows the identity of J.D. However, it's too late and his cries are ignored.

Back at the treasure, J.D. has switched clothes with Joey Benzine. In the resulting fire, they will think Benzine was the Jersey Devil. In reality, he was actually the prison guard driven insane by Joey's screams. (See issue #2) He is also the twin brother of Officer Vern. J.D.'s real name is James Dean Vern. As J.D.'s fire begins to grow, he walks away with hope for the future.