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The untold truth of Hellstrom

Prepare yourself, mortal — a strom is coming! No, we don't need to check our spelling: Today, we're bringing you the devilish details on Daimon Hellstrom, also known as Hellstorm and the son of Satan. Whatever name he goes by, he's a diabolical dude ... albeit one who spends a whole lot of time acting as a good guy. To the delight of fans everywhere, he's about to make his entrance into the MCU. As far as anyone can tell, Helstrom, a live-action horror series set to air on Hulu, will be a a very different sort of Marvel production for a very different kind of character. 

Daimon Hellstrom debuted in the 1970s, when Marvel was finding success with stories of the occult and arcane. His name has changed a few times, and his origin and background have been remixed, revamped, and revisited. But no matter who's telling his story and how, Hellstrom's intriguing character shines through. This is the story of Hellstrom, Satan's ever-surprising son.

Occult origins

The 1970s were a spooky time for Marvel: Ghosts, monsters, and ghouls ran rampant in series like The Tomb of Dracula and Ghost RiderStan Lee wasn't content with merely gesturing towards the occult, however — he wanted to take it as far as possible. Thus, he conceived of a comic starring Satan, entitled The Mark of Satan. Yes, that Satan. Why go for the halfway mark when it comes to evil, right?

Though Lee wanted this new series to star Old Scratch himself, editor Roy Thomas had other ideas. Thomas convinced Lee that people wouldn't buy a comic featuring Satan as the main character, even if he was the villain. Instead, Thomas proposed the comic feature the son of Satan, who could fluctuate between his demonic powers and his life on Earth. Lee loved it, and so the Marvel bullpen set to work.

The son of Satan was given the completely unsubtle name Daimon Hellstrom, and made his debut in 1973's Ghost Rider #1. Hellstrom was born, and the fans fell in love.

Who is Daimon Hellstrom?

So, just what kind of talents does the son of Satan have at his disposal? His power levels have fluctuated over time, depending on which iteration we're talking about. Generally speaking, his abilities stay pretty consistent — but the power behind them varies wildly.

When it comes to Marvel's demonic characters,  their powers are pretty much always exponentially stronger in their own realm. Hellstrom, who is actually a ruler of his particular dimension of Hell, is a prime example of this — within Hell, his power is nearly infinite. Outside of his dimension, he has superhuman strength and speed (though he isn't going to beat Hulk in an arm-wrestling match any time soon) and is an incredibly powerful sorcerer, especially when it comes to destructive magic. He also wields a trident made of "netheranium," a "psychosensitive" metal found in Hell that can amplify his abilities.

Perhaps most uniquely, Hellstrom can control "soulfire," a power that burns one's very soul. It can be blasted as a concussive force, projected through his trident, and used by him to fly and transform himself with very few limitations.

Son of Satan ... and defender of Earth

The Defenders may not get the mainstream buzz that the Avengers enjoy, but there are several iterations of the scrappy team that could stand up to Earth's mightiest heroes. Now, as much as we love the Netflix team, it's hard to believe that Jessica Jones and Daredevil could go toe-to-toe against Thor and Hulk. Hellstrom, in contrast, could give those heavy hitters a run for their money, and has worked with the Defenders before.

Daimon Hellstrom has aided the Defenders against villains like Satannish, the Sons of the Serpent, Nebulon and the Secret Empire. Doctor Strange, a frequent leader of the team, has often consulted Daimon when battling demonic forces — Daimon's firsthand knowledge of Hell's hierarchy, alongside his powerful magical abilities, have proven invaluable time and time again. Hellstrom has even opposed his own father's plans when defending Earth!

Hellstrom has proven the value of choosing one's own path. Being the spawn of Satan doesn't mean you have to be evil — it just means you have a pentagram-shaped birthmark on your chest.

Son of Satan, sort of

We're about to go deep into the weeds of comics, so strap yourself in. Sometimes, in the world of Marvel, the "son of Satan" isn't really the son of Satan. Such is the case with Daimon Hellstrom, whose father is definitely a demon but maybe not actually their king.

According to Daimon's backstory, Hell is ruled by committee. The Hell-Lords promote the idea of a singular Satan who reigns over them all, but actually act as a group. Seeking a gateway into the mortal world, one of their number travels to Earth and sires Daimon. Different iterations of Hellstrom's origins get a little fuzzy on the details — each Hell-Lord might have their own version of Hell, and there really might be an actual Lucifer running around out there. But for now, there's one demon responsible for Daimon: An ancient creature named Marduk Kurios, who is ruler of at least one realm of Hell.

Daimon didn't actually know who and what his father was until he came across his mother's diary as an adult. He later rejects his father's offer to battle against humanity, and, in fact, begins aiding humanity's fight against the forces of Hell. Talk about a turnaround.

Incredible magical powers

Though different creators portray his powers in different ways, Hellstrom has the potential to be one of the most gifted magic-users in the entirety of the Marvel universe. Combined with his background in arcane studies and his mystical trident, Hellstrom is quite the formidable force.

Hellstrom's demonic ancestry and status as a ruler of a dimension of Hell give him incredible strength in his own realm. Demons of his power level can accomplish seemingly any magical feat when in their own realm, making it nearly impossible to defeat them on their home turf.

Daimon has other tricks up his sleeve as well. He has two mediums through which he can channel the powers of Hell: The pentagram birthmark on his chest, and his magical trident. Both of these things allow him to utilize soulfire, one of the most useful and malleable forces in all of Marveldom. He has even been part of the group that determines the Sorcerer Supreme – his potential is that strong.

A ruler of Hell

Daimon Hellstrom didn't know his father was a demon until he was a young man. His mother, totally ignorant of her husband's true nature, only discovers the truth herself upon walking in on Daimon's father and sister performing an occult ritual, a sight that drives her mad. Kurios and Daimon's sister, the oh-so-subtly named Satana, return to Kurios' Hell dimension, and Daimon is sent to an orphanage. Years later, Daimon finds his mother's diary, and all the truth within it. He decides to challenge his father to help safeguard the world he's come to love, no matter the cost.

The first time he challenges Kurios, Daimon turns many of his servants against him and winds up stealing both his father's trident and his chariot. He does not vanquish his father, however. Eventually, Daimon learns that he can never be at peace as long as his father exists. He puts together a team to challenge his father for their domain.

Eventually, Daimon defeats Kurios and kills him. Upon defeating Kurios, Daimon is granted his "black halo" and rulership over his dimension of Hell. This amplifies his powers significantly, and sees him enter a new chapter of his complex, demonic journey.

Defeating god-like foes

Even though Daimon's power level tends to fluctuate, there are times when he qualifies as one of the most powerful Marvel characters around. He has taken down some ridiculously powerful villains in his time, often without even having to resort to true fisticuffs.

One such foe is Dormammu, who is often considered one of the most singularly powerful beings in the Marvel universe. In one story, Dormammu joins forces with Satannish, another demon with similar strength levels, to conquer every Hell dimension and then use their combined might to take over everything. Daimon uses his knowledge of the Hell dimensions to completely remake them, rendering Dormammu's own powers useless there. Satannish is quick to fall soon after.

Hellstrom has taken down other god-like foes, such as Mephisto, during his long career. It seems unlikely that he will be quite as strong when he makes it to television, but there certainly is precedent for him to be extremely powerful.

A Hulu series on the way

Daimon Hellstrom is headed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe ... in a way. Helstrom, an upcoming Hulu series, will be the first entry into Marvel's brand-new Adventure Into Fear franchise. As Marvel Television was folded into Marvel Studios as a whole in 2019, the future of the franchise is unclear. What we do know, however, is that Helstrom will be part of it. 

The series will follow the sibling pair of Daimon and Ana Helstrom, children of a serial killer who "hunt down the worst of humanity." It seems likely that the duo will eventually discover their serial killer parent is a bit more complicated than they realize. Tom Austen will play Daimon in the series.

We don't yet know how closely this show will tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What we do know, however, is that the series has plenty of sinister and spectacular source material to draw from.