The plot has Arial working alongside her friends Gethen and Tatsu to defeat the eccentric Abigor, an escaped demon criminal in possession of an artifact that allows him to briefly travel through time. It’s garnered positive reception.
"Arial, daughter of the Devil and New York vigilante, has been living with her friend Amanda for a while now. While the angel’s away, the demon princess is pulled into a new adventure involving one unholy villain and two figures from her past. Can she get out alive? Or will this fight be too much?"
- Arial: Having decided to live on and protect Earth rather than rule Hell, Arial is adjusting pretty well to her new life. She’s optimistic and sweet, but has quite the short temper too. Combined with her stubbornness, she can get herself into big trouble. Arial has an enhanced physique and the ability to generate anything she knows about.
- Amanda: Arial’s best friend and housemate, an angel who formerly lead Heaven’s army. Although she’s enjoying being on Earth, Amanda isn’t one to sit still for too long. For much of the story, she’s visiting F.A.N.T’s headquarters as a way to find a constructive use for her abilities.
- Gethen: The current king of Hell, Gethen used to be Arial’s fiance and was the greatest warrior in the realm. He’s currently trying to reform the dimension alongside Tatsu, with his softer personality contrasting with hers. He’s drawn back to Earth by Abigor’s escape. Gethen wields two pistols that fire powerful Demonkiller bullets.
- Tatsu: A violent but good hearted Oni who didn’t use to get along very well with Arial. The two came to be on good terms after they fought together against the Devil, and now she’s working with Gethen to improve Hell. Her combat style revolves around brute force, with her weapon of choice being a heavy club.
- Abigor: A well-dressed, quirky demon criminal who should be taken seriously. Despite his silly demeanor, he has quite the temper and no morals, making him a dangerous enemy. Upon gaining the Hand of Time, he gains a form of chronokinesis which allows him to see briefly into the future and past and teleport through short distances of time.
The one-shot opens on Arial and Amanda’s mansion as the sun rises. A speech bubble comes from the building.
- ???: You sure you gotta go?
Amanda sips from a mug of hot tea as Arial sits on the couch, flipping through channels.
- Arial: We haven’t even covered HALF the channels yet, Ames.
The angel chuckles and shakes her head, sitting next to her housemate.
- Amanda: As thrilling as that sounds, I need something more in my life than just leisure and the occasional brawl, Arial.
Arial frowns and looks away.
- Arial: As if our adventures weren’t super awesome.
The blonde woman smiles and sets her tea down on their coffee table.
- Amanda: I did quite enjoy fighting crime with you. But you do remember when I accidentally cut that robber’s hand off, correct?
She turns back to Amanda and they both shudder as they remember that incident, before going back to their conversation.
- Arial: I guess your skills are more suited for big-time fights. And I trust F.A.N.T, especially since you’re meeting with Toby.
A grin on her face, Amanda squeezes her best friend’s hand.
- Amanda: Thank you for being supportive. It’s not like much will change. We can still hang out and live together, you’ll just be holding down the fort here and I’ll be...going wherever they want me to go.
The demon’s cheeks flush lightly and she nods.
- Arial: Alright, Amy. Go become a secret agent. Just don’t get into more trouble than I would.
After getting up off the couch and walking to the door, Amanda raises an eyebrow.
- Amanda: You’d get into a lot of trouble.
Arial beams and laughs as her best friend opens the door and shuts it after leaving.
- Arial: Alright…
She turns the TV off and sighs, resting her chin on her fist.
- Arial: Well, today should be boring.
The next panel cuts to complete darkness.
A massive prison that’s under construction is shown floating above an endless sea of lava, a caption identifying it as "The Seventh Level - Hell".
- ???: In the cell, buddy. Let’s not have any trouble.
Inside one of the prison’s floors, the walls are still under construction, leaving it open ended. A guard is pushing a well-groomed demon in a jumpsuit inside his cell, much to his annoyance.
- Guard: Good. Now as long as you behave, Abigor, your time here is gonna be easy. I’ll be back in a few hours to take you to the rec room.
Abigor nods as the guard turns around to leave, beginning to shut the door. He stops when they speak up.
- Abigor: Wait, sir, you missed something.
The guard turns around, allowing Abigor to put him in a chokehold until he passes out. As his body slumps down, the demon holds it up and steals his key card and stun baton before pushing him into the magma pit below.
- Abigor: Easy as pie. Well then, let’s get out of this dreadful costume. Bloody hell, I might be a murderer, but I have some fashion sense.
In the next panel, he uses the card to enter the room where all the demons have their belongings stored. A worker is sitting there and looks up.
- Worker: Hey!
He pushes the baton into their gut to knock them out and takes a black suit and purple tie out of one of the storage bins.
- Abigor: Excellent.
A wide panel shows the bodies, some dead and some unconscious, of several guards and other employees. They’re littered across the prison’s lobby, as Abigor walks out into its parking lot, now in his suit. He looks out at Hell with a smile.
- Abigor: They really thought they could keep me here. Say what you will about the Devil...least he could keep order. I think I’m tiring of Hell...let’s pay a visit to Earth.
Abigor hops on top of a hoverbike and takes off, flying across the lava.
We see the skyline of New York City in the middle of the day, before a bank is shown. Inside it, Abigor is holding everyone up with a silenced pistol. On his other hand, he’s wearing a large, ornate glove. They’re all on the ground, shaking in terror.
- Abigor: Alright, I have no need to kill any of you pathetic people. Once I empty the vault, I’ll be out of here...promptly.
He walks past them, kicking one man in the stomach for seemingly no reason. One bold security guard draws his gun on Abigor, but without looking behind himself he already knows what’s going to happen.
- Abigor: Bad move.
The demon teleports behind the guard and snaps his neck, causing everyone to look away and a few people to scream in terror. Annoyed, the demon waves his pistol around.
- Abigor: So uncivilized! I try to stage a simple bank robbery, and you all force me to lose my temper. The next time that happens, I swear, I’ll blast the brains out of the bloke who pisses me off.
This silences everyone, allowing him to casually walk over to the bank teller. Abigor presses the firearm against their head with a smile.
- Abigor: Now, will you please show me to your vault?
They nod quickly and walk alongside him, reaching back to trigger the building’s loud alarm. Angered, he shoots the employee through the head and looks back with narrowed eyes.
- Abigor: Damn it! Stupid bastard...now I’m going to have to get out of here with nothing!
He charges out of the bank and into the street, a group of police cars behind him headed his way. Abigor chuckles and shakes his head as he looks back at them.
- Abigor: Doubt they’ll be able to catch up.
Suddenly, he’s knocked to the ground by his gut. When he looks up, he sees Arial exiting a portal with her hands on her hips.
- Arial: I heard somebody with red skin and horns was causin’ trouble...didn’t think it could possibly be another demon.
Abigor raises an eyebrow and shows a toothy smile. He gets up and stretches his arms out.
- Abigor: Princess Arial, it’s an honor to meet you. Though, I suppose it’s not princess anymore, since you ran away to play hero.
Arial creates a fireball in her palm and shakes her head.
- Arial: I ain’t playing, whoever you are. I love these people, and I’m here to protect ‘em from bad guys like you. Last warning before I beat your ass.
He scoffs and crosses his arms.
- Abigor: Try me.
She sighs and hurls the projectile at him, but he teleports out of the way and socks her in the jaw with his gloved hand.
- Abigor: My name is Abigor. I kill “good guys”.
Arial gasps in pain and clutches her jaw, swinging to strike back. He steps out of the way and grabs her wrist, twisting her arm.
- Arial: Ow, fuck!
Disoriented from the two-pronged assault, she holds onto her arm. This gives him the opportunity to appear behind her back and kick her in the spine. As she falls to the ground, the police nears them both.
- Abigor: I’d love to say I slayed the Devil’s daughter...but I don’t have the time. Farewell, love.
He escapes down an alley as she lays on the street, breathing heavily. She coughs up blood and pulls herself up, the police getting out of their cars.
- Cop: Are you alright, ma’am?
She slowly nods, when a flash of light appears behind them.
- Arial: Yeah, I’m f-
Arial turns back, to see that the flash was caused by a large portal, which Gethen and Tatsu walk out of.
- Arial: Holy shit.
He grins at her warmly as the Oni gives a short wave.
In the mansion, Arial is laying on the couch with an ice pack against her jaw. Gethen is sitting on a nearby chair, while Tatsu paces back and forth.
- Arial: It really is great to see you guys. Wish it wasn’t under THESE circumstances, though.
The king of Hell exhales deeply.
- Gethen: We’re sorry to have our business here on Earth. That Abigor is a troublemaker.
She grunts and shifts as Tatsu looks around, intrigued by the decor.
- Arial: Damn right, he is. I thought you and Tats woulda gunned him down by now.
Gethen sheepishly chuckles.
- Gethen: Yeah, we’re...trying something new. We wanna improve Hell, and we figured that starts with not punishin’ the kids born there. We figure that if we kept their parents alive, so they could visit, they’d have better childhoods. So we started buildin’ a prison in Hell to store the guilty demons we could round up. Make Hell a less brutal place.
Tatsu raises her hand.
- Tatsu: I voted against this, for the record.
With an amused smile, Arial looks to her friend.
- Arial: Yep, that sounds like you.
He scratches the back of his neck and looks away.
- Gethen: Abigor...didn’t have a kid. Or any family. Still, we thought we could help ‘im. Screw him a little tighter.
Tatsu adjusts a painting that’s slightly off-tilt while talking.
- Tatsu: While on Earth, he and his best friend were thieves. Abigor had a violent history, the other guy just did a few robberies and other petty crimes. They hatched a scheme together to steal from a wealthy older gentleman.
A flashback shows the duo standing above a drawing of the beachside house, planning the job.
- Tatsu: Once they got in successfully...Abigor shot his friend and the man dead. Dumped the bodies in the water and lived there until someone figured out what he was doing.
The police bust down the doors with their guns in hand, Abigor raising his own to take them out.
- Tatsu: They called the cops. Abigor was a good shot, but he couldn’t take down everyone they brought in. They were forced to gun him down.
They riddle the thief with bullets, killing him.
- Tatsu: He went to Hell, of course, but pulling all those jobs off had given him a talent for it. He was able to evade capture for years...until our soldiers got the drop on him and knocked him out.
With a raised eyebrow, Arial looks to her.
- Arial: So...we’re dealing with a grade A sick freak here, huh?
Both of them nod.
- Gethen: Since the prison was still under construction, he was able to escape. Stole someone’s ride and made his way to one of our vaults.
The princess sighs.
- Arial: If Dad locked stuff up, you knew it was real dangerous.
We see Abigor pick a safe’s lock and steal the Hand of Time and some sort of projector.
- Tatsu: There, he got two things. Both are real dangerous.
He tests out the Hand of Time by teleporting across the room. An evil grin on his face, he uses the projector to create a portal.
- Gethen: He stole the Hand of Time, which lets him travel through time and space in very short distances. Combined with the ability to look forward or back in time a few seconds if the user so chooses...it can create big messes.
After jovially skipping through the portal, he finds himself on a sidewalk in New York City. No one seems particularly fazed by his appearance.
- Tatsu: After using a portal projector to come here, he’s apparently been wreaking havoc ever since. As I’m sure you can tell.
Arial gets up off her feet and throws the pack in a trash can.
- Arial: Alright, guys, so how do we stop him?
Uncertain of how to answer, they shrug.
- Tatsu: Our best chance is attacking him on all sides. He may be able to take down one of us, but if we all draw his attention, he’ll lose his focus.
Gethen takes a device out of his pocket and squints down at it.
- Gethen: We had some of the smart demons build this thingy. Lets us track demons...and it says he’s headed for the New York Harbor right now.
Knowing they have no time to waste, she opens the door and they all quickly run out of it.
- Arial: That means he’s lookin’ to get far away. We better go now if we’re gonna stop him.
She shuts her eyes and puts her hands forward, concentrating hard.
On a dock, Abigor is choking an old sailor with his new toy.
- Abigor: C’mon, mate, you can’t have much air left in those lungs. Now, can I get some free passage, or what?
He nods frantically, with the demon throwing him to the ground.
- Abigor: Good. Get up and prepare the boat...we may have company soon.
Gasping for air and coughing, he runs onto the ship. Abigor looks back and forth, and sure enough, Arial, Gethen, and Tatsu exit out of a portal.
- Arial: I’m back! I brought some buddies, too.
He clenches his fists in anger, but his face twists into a smirk.
- Abigor: Ah yes, the cowboy king and his bodyguard. How terrifying.
The Oni snarls and takes her club off of her back.
- Tatsu: You’re damn right we are.
Gethen pulls out his pistols, Arial creates a hammer, and Abigor laughs.
- Abigor: You’ve made a dire mistake, Princess. Your friends are a weakness, not a strength.
Tatsu swings the weighty weapon, but her target jumps back with the Hand of Time. He punches Gethen into the ground and steals his guns, firing at the two women.
- Abigor: Told you so!
In their attempt to weave through the Demonkiller bullets, they knock into each other. Abigor pulls the dazed cowboy up by his neck and holds one of the pistols to his head. Due to the glove’s strength, he can only squirm.
- Abigor: Never cared much for pals myself. Had one, once. He was useful for a time...but when he became a nuisance, someone to share my spoils with, I disposed of him. Just as I’ll get rid of the old king here unless you let me make my escape. Is that a deal?
Arial and Tatsu look at each other, but before they can answer, Gethen manages to elbow the villain in the gut. This lets him get away and take his pistols back.
- Gethen: I’m...okay....
Abigor puts his hand on his gut, groaning. Tatsu is about to run over and take care of him, but Arial shakes her head.
- Arial: I got this.
With her hammer in hand, Arial runs up and uses the weapon to knock him into the water.
- Tatsu: As...satisfying as that was to watch, it won’t take care of him. He’ll be back.
A satisfied smile on her face, she pulls the two close.
- Arial: I know that. I got an idea.
The panel cuts to Abigor sinking down, with him using the glove to teleport back to the dock as he holds his breath.
- Abigor: Nice...nice move there, love. You can’t get rid of me, though. With this thing, I’ll be back. Always.
He focuses and sees that Arial’s preparing to throw her hammer at him, so he dodges it.
- Arial: Yeah, we got that.
Gethen shoots him through the back, with him quickly travelling back in time before the injury. He charges towards the gunman, but Tatsu knocks him off his feet with her club. Agitated, he rewinds time again.
- Arial: See, no matter how many times you go back, you’re gonna miss one of us. You can’t juggle all three.
A montage has him repeatedly trying to escape the time loop, but he can’t. When he goes for Tatsu, Gethen and Arial take him down, and vice versa for all of the trio. Tired of being hurt, Abigor sits on the ground and shakes in terror and anger.
- Arial: You were wrong, Abigor. My friends are my strength. Your selfishness is what got you here.
He punches the ground and grits his teeth.
- Abigor: Fine! Fine! Just take me back...I can’t handle this anymore…
Gethen pulls off the glove and handcuffs him as Arial and Tatsu take deep breaths, worn out by the fight.
In Hell, the "Royal Palace" is shown. Inside it, Arial, Gethen, and Tatsu are talking inside an office.
- Gethen: Well, I better make sure they get Abigor in a cell this time. Hopefully we can get ‘im some help.
They nod, with Gethen kissing Tatsu on the cheek before walking out of the room. Arial is visibly surprised, which the warrior picks up on.
- Tatsu: Yes, we are dating.
The princess squeals in delight and squeezes Tatsu tightly. Although she looks uncomfortable at first, she hugs back slowly.
- Arial: That’s great!
A rare smile on her face, Tatsu lets out a small, gleeful laugh. Intrigued about the details, Arial hops onto the office’s desk.
- Arial: C’mon, spill it.
The Oni sits down in the chair in front of the desk.
- Tatsu: Well...I told him how I felt. He said he couldn’t believe he never saw it...and then he kissed me.
Arial claps in celebration.
- Tatsu: After that, he just said he never realized how much he loved me. How much we cared about each other. How perfect we’d be together.
A wide grin on her face, Arial looks down at the desk.
- Arial: You got any tissues? That was beautiful.
Tatsu scoffs and laughs with her friend.
- Tatsu: So...do you have anyone special, Arial?
The demon thinks it over for a few moments before replying.
- Arial: Well...I kinda got a crush on someone. Oh, crap, I better get back to her.
Arial jumps off and Tatsu waves at her while she makes a portal.
- Tatsu: Bye, Arial! Good luck with your crush!
She heads through it, but peeks her head into Hell.
- Arial: Thank you! Tell Geth how happy I am for you two!
The vigilante goes all the way into the portal and it closes. Tatsu sits there alone and nods with a smile.
Back on Earth, Arial is sitting on her couch watching TV. Amanda then walks into the mansion, which causes her best friend to perk up.
- Arial: Hey, Amy! How was your day?
Clearly tired herself, Amanda flops down next to the demon and leans on her shoulder.
- Amanda: Decent. Yours?
Arial rubs her head and shakes it.
- Arial: Ugh, it’s a long story.
The angel turns to look at Arial before sitting up.
- Amanda: Well, it’s one I’d like to hear. See...Agent James was perfectly accompanying. They do good work there. I just realized that all day, when I was there, I wanted to be here instead.
This clearly warms Arial’s heart, making her red cheeks even redder.
- Amanda: I’ve been fighting, or training to fight, all my life. Now that I don’t have to, I just didn’t know what to do. Then, I realized that I want to be here, with my roommate. Relaxing and talking and enjoying life.
Amanda is then pulled in for a tight hug, which she reciprocates.
- Arial: Aww...I wanna be here too. With my best friend.
After a few seconds, they reluctantly pull away and the princess picks the remote up off the table.
- Arial: Now then...we got some channel surfing to do.
Amanda lays back with a relaxed, deep breath before we see the outside of the mansion once more. This time, it’s at night.
The last page shows a group of muscular demons hauling something covered by a black sheet into a cell that takes up an entire room.
- Demon: Jeez, this thing is heavy.
They all grunt in agreement, pulling off the sheet. Their large frames block the reader from seeing just what it is.
- Demon #2: You wanna go to Death’s? Drinks are on me.
Cheers fill the room as they all leave. One demon stays behind and hits a button with his fist, a plaque nearby it identifying the cell as the "melting chamber". He then runs off after them.
- Demon #3: Hey guys, wait up!
Heat waves show that the room’s temperature is increasing, with drips of water running across the floor. In the center of the room, it’s revealed that the mysterious object is the ice crystal the Devil was stored in. As it melts away, he shivers and pants.
- The Devil: What...happened…?
The comic then cuts to black with white text on it.
ARIAL WILL RETURN IN...NEW HEROES.
The one-shot came in two forms, a standard cover and a variant.
- Normal: Arial, Gethen, and Tatsu are all standing in front of the bank, with the princess surrounding her hands with fire, the king aiming his handguns forward, and the Oni raising her club above her head.
- Variant: Abigor is standing in the darkness, a single torch illuminating him. He has a smirk on his face and he’s putting on the Hand of Time.
- The one-shot was written for .scatteredreams’s birthday. He created Arial as well as much of her lore and supporting cast. He’s also a close friend of the author.
- Abigor was inspired by the Doctor from Doctor Who, especially his tenth incarnation, as well as the character Kilgrave from Jessica Jones. Both were played by actor David Tennant.
- Abigor is loosely based on a demon of the same name. The two share time related powers, but little else.
- Thanks to HollowPharaoh for the logo!
| Blank | Aero | Beam | Arial | Data | The Director | The Devil | Hugo Logia | Eric Sinn | Blizzard | Mission | Frostburn | Aran Leverletto | Amanda | Gethen | Tatsu | Tobias James | Helen Rizzo