After a few appearances from 1977-1981, the Demon appeared in Alan Moore’s classic Swamp Thing in 1984 and again in 1986. There, Moore treated him as a more serious supernatural character, aligning the somewhat goofy character with a Hell that felt very real.
In late 1986, the Demon got his own mini-series, helmed by Matt Wagner. It expanded upon the weighty supernatural tone set by Alan Moore. In fact, its tone is closer to the later series Hellblazer than to Jack Kirby’s original issues. Sadly, this mini-series has not been collected, nor has it received its critical due in the history of supernatural comics.
This more serious depiction of the Demon also appeared in Swamp Thing after Moore’s departure, in the fourth issue of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, and in Gaiman’s Books of Magic Vol. 1.
During this time, however, the Demon also appeared in more mainstream super-hero titles, where he was treated a bit more conventionally. This version of the Demon offered a blend of the more serious magical elements, introduced by Moore and Wagner, with an ability to embrace the fun and even the silliness of the character. Writer Alan Grant codified this effort, first in a six-issue serial in Action Comics Weekly, in early 1989, and then in a new ongoing series for the character, begun in 1990.
Appearances by the more serious Demon overlap somewhat with early Alan Grant work. Those more serious appearances are kept here, in order to better separate the two depictions of the Demon (and keep Grant’s work more integral). Doing so creates no continuity problems for the larger DC Universe’s continuity.