El Diablo (comics)
Rafael Sandoval from the cover of El Diablo v.2 #16,
art by Mike Parobeck.
All-Star Western #2
El Diablo vol. 2 #1
El Diablo vol. 3 #1
Robert Kanigher (writer)
Gray Morrow (artist)
Gerard Jones (writer)
Mike Parobeck (artist)
Jai Nitz (writer)
Phil Hester (artist)
Ande Parks (artist)
|Alter ego||Lazarus Lane
Olympic level boxer and athlete
El Diablo is a name shared by several fictional characters published by DC Comics. The original version (Lazarus Lane) debuted in All-Star Western #2 (October 1970), and was created by Robert Kanigher and Gray Morrow. The second version (Rafael Sandoval) first appeared in El Diablo #1 (August 1989), and was created by Gerard Jones and Mike Parobeck. The third version (Chato Santana) first appeared in El Diablo #1 (September 2008) and was created by Jai Nitz, Phil Hester and Ande Parks.
Lazarus Lane was created by Robert Kanigher and Gray Morrow and debuted in All-Star Western #2 (cover-dated Oct. 1970). Lane starred in a four issue mini-series published by DC Comics through their Vertigo imprint as a mature readers title; El Diablo #1 (March 2001) was written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Danijel Zezelj.
Fictional character biography
Lazarus Lane is the original iteration of El Diablo, operating in the later half of the 19th century in the American Old West. Lane was originally a bank teller who is nearly killed by a gang of thieves and put in a coma after being struck by lightning. After being revived by Native American shaman "Wise Owl", Lane becomes the vigilante El Diablo. The name El Diablo means "the devil" in Spanish.
According to Jonah Hex vol. 2, #11 (Nov. 2006) and #24 (Dec. 2007), Lazarus Lane is cursed to be the host of a minor demon which acts as a Spirit of Vengeance. Lane's body slumbers in a coma while "El Diablo" roams the Earth. His fate is similar to that of the current Crimson Avenger. In Swamp Thing vol. 2, #85 (April 1989), Wise Owl is shown in a more villainous light, with Lane/El Diablo his unwilling servant. In that story, set in 1872, a number of DC's western heroes (including the aforementioned Hex, Bat Lash, Johnny Thunder, and Madame .44) were employed by Otto Von Hammer and Jason Blood to defeat Wise Owl and recover from him an object of great power, which turned out to be a crystal containing the spirit of Swamp Thing, who had become lost in time. When the group killed Wise Owl, Lane's comatose body woke up, and El Diablo apparently vanished forever.
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Lazarus Lane appeared in a backup feature in All-Star Western. In this iteration, he was once again cursed by Wise Owl to become the host of a demon. Rather than being in a coma, Lazarus remains awake. However, El Diablo arises from his body whenever he is unconscious.
Rafael Sandoval was the second iteration created in 1989 by writer Gerard Jones and artist Mike Parobeck as a title set in the modern DC Universe. This title lasted 16 months. As created by Jones and Parobeck, Sandoval is a rookie member of the city council of Dos Rios, Texas who creates his version of El Diablo (from a festival costume and an old boxing persona and local legends surrounding the Devil) after being stymied by officials while trying to pursue the case of a serial arsonist. Subsequent efforts involved battles with illicit drug smugglers using maquiladora covers for their activities, a hunt for a serial killer, conflicts with human-smuggling operations, and with Sandoval's own conscience over how best to serve the people of Dos Rios.
Rafael Sandoval's character has subsequently made guest appearances in one of the Justice League titles, in which he is possessed by the spirit of an Aztec god-emperor and takes on an appearance reminiscent of the Lazarus Lane Diablo. He also appears in the Villains United Special when he is pulled out of retirement by Oracle to serve in her de facto Justice League, whereupon he is attacked by a member of the Royal Flush Gang during a battle at the Enclave M prison in the Sonora Valley, Mexico. He is wounded in the battle, but saved from death by the warden of the facility.
The current iteration of El Diablo is Chato Santana, an ex-criminal who after being hospitalized, meets a still living comatose Lazarus Lane. It is written by Jai Nitz, pencilled by Phil Hester, with inks by Ande Parks.
In The New 52 continuity and DC Extended Universe, he is a member of the Suicide Squad. He is later recruited into Checkmate under the leadership of Uncle Sam, until he realizes that he is being lied to and abandons them in search of the truth.
In other media
- The Lazarus Lane version of El Diablo appears in Justice League Unlimited, voiced by Nestor Carbonell. While designed after his comic appearance, elements from Zorro's appearance were added in. Seen in the episode "The Once and Future Thing", he appears alongside Pow Wow Smith, Bat Lash and Jonah Hex.
- Jay Hernandez plays Chato Santana / El Diablo in the live-action 2016 film Suicide Squad. Unlike most of the Suicide Squad, he is not a ruthless villain, having used his powers to establish himself as a gang leader before he accidentally destroyed his family home in a moment of anger and now mourning what he has become. Despite this, he uses his powers to save the rest of the team from Enchantress' minions, helping them resist the illusion she creates where she will give the Squad what they want most if they let her win, and sacrificing himself to defeat the Enchantress' powerful brother by containing him in one area until a bomb can be detonated to destroy him.
- The Chato Santana incarnation of El Diablo appears in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. He is part of "The Squad" downloadable content.
- The Chato Santana incarnation of El Diablo appears as a playable character in Suicide Squad: Special Ops.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "El Diablo I & II", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 113, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- "DC Comics' September 2008 Solicitations". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- "NEWSARAMA - View Single Post - EL DIABLO RETURNS AT DC IN 2008". Forum.newsarama.com. 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- Jai Nitz & Phil Hester - Introducing El Diablo, Newsarama, August 2, 2008
- Jay Jayson (February 19, 2015). "Jay Hernandez's Suicide Squad Role Revealed; Killer Frost, King Shark & More To Cameo". ComicBook.com. Retrieved April 29, 2015.