Demon Knights #0 begins in Hell because it's going to be the origin of how Jason Blood and Etrigan came to be bound together. Although that story has already been told from Jason Blood's point of view. Hopefully this issue will stick to Etrigan's point of view which would probably be a lot more confusing as he goes about his hell business and suddenly gets summoned by Merlin.
Man, being a demon would suck. Going out on a date with a hot succubus when BAM! You're summoned away just as some really twisted sex is about to go down. Or worse, she's summoned away! And then she comes back after having sexed up a bunch of mortals and stolen their souls and now you've kind of lost interest because you can picture the filthy mortals hands all over her. And you begin to judge her for fucking a human when suddenly BAM! Now you've been summoned and you're trapped in a binding pentagram when you find out you're about to merge with a human in a totally different way. What in the name of all that is holy do these goddamned humans want?
Etrigan began as a small time servant for Lucifer. He was not yet of the rhyming class but he kept practicing and he kept trying because he knew that one day he would be written by Alan Grant who would make his rhyming dialogue sound natural and on meter. But for now, he's just no good at it and he disappoints Lucifer by not being able to find a rhyme for Lucifer. Oh, come on, Etrigan! He's your master! You should have a shitload of rhymes ready for his name!
And then Alan Grant's The Demon takes place.
Merlin decides to discuss his employee problems with King Arthur for some advice on how to deal with underlings who won't do what they're told or try to fuck your wife.
I didn't scan these panels for the Stormwatch reference. Cornell has made nearly that exact reference months ago. I scanned these to show what a badass King Arthur is. He doesn't even flinch at the explosion and blast that blows his hair back. Just a minor squint of annoyance.
Although Etrigan's birth placed him in the rhyming class of Demons, he hates to rhyme. He decides to overthrow the lord of the Prose Demons and use their armies to take over Hell. And on Earth, Jason Blood wants to write verse and poetry but signs and portents at the time of his birth have carried him into Camelot to copy documents at the feet of Merlin. He wants to rhyme but is not allowed. Neither character wants to put in the time and effort to apprentice their way to a point in their lives where they're free to do what they want. And this rebellious nature will only get them merged together, never to be free again. Tragedy is forthcoming.
Merlin consults with Morgan le Fey seeking a vision of Jason's future. It's not good. He'll become a wife beater and murderer if something doesn't change and refocus his rage. I know! Maybe if you let him write a little poetry by outsourcing some of your transcription work, maybe he wouldn't be so angry? Or you could, you know, stick a fucking demon in him so his mind is occupied on other things.
Since Merlin has a problem and Lucifer has a problem, the two guys get together. That's not the only reason these two have to meet. Lucifer calls Merlin his son. Which would mean Lucifer created mankind before God could get around to doing it since Merlin was born the moment the universe was created. Which also means not just God existed before the universe was created but heaven and its angels as well. And it's entirely possible that Lucifer had already fallen and Hell also existed before the universe was created. And technically Merlin isn't a man since he ages backwards and can exist in the vacuum of space and was created with the knowledge of lager and English grammar, he's still pretty much the first man. Lucifer should have applied for an intellectual copyright before God stole his design. Unless Lucifer stole the design by basing Merlin on God's image? I bet this whole thing would give the Lawyer Angel Class a gigantic headache.
Etrigan's army makes it to the gates of Lucifer's inner circle before Lucifer appears to deal with Etrigan himself.
I guess in the Reboot, Hell is not ruled by a Triumvirate.
Or a Rob Liefeld gun.
Although if Jason wanted to, he could just live a nice, peaceful life in seclusion somewhere and never ever utter the rhyme to release Etrigan. Which he occasionally does for centuries at a time.