Frank Thorne’s last major work, The Devil’s Angel, is a remarkable eroto-satirical tale in which a porn bust brings many of Thorne’s characters to line up and engage in a no-holds-barred battle with the forces of intolerance and obscurantism, including hilarious, thinly-disguised parodies of some of the major political figures of the time.

To a large extent this final episode of The Devil’s Angel was Thorne’s response to a Nazi Blackshirt attack on the Oklahoma City store of Planet Comics, when in the summer of 1995 a group of men came in, drew guns, took all the Thorne comics including The Iron Devil, locked up the storekeeper, and hauled all of the stuff down to the courthouse. The quickly-dropped charges of child pornography placed the impressively bearded senior citizen artist in good company with Dungeons and Dragons, the Dead Kennedys, and outlaw cartoonist Mike Diana as victims of the benighted culture war on ‘youth-corrupting media’.

Spun off from The Iron Devil, The Devil’s Angel is a strange book, full of physical transformations and effluvia, with the kind of bizarre vision that can only be legitimately personal in nature counterpointed by its author’s glossy, commercially appealing art. In its more outré passages it resembles a modern version of Chaucer or the Decameron’s debauched anecdotes, complete with ham-fisted sociopolitical satire and rather charmingly dated sensibilities.

Outside Oklahoma, at least, Thorne’s lascivious content never really crossed over into the realm of the truly offensive.

The Devil’s Angel was originally published in three parts by Eros Comix; the last episode, The Bust, was reissued in a colourised version, in the 2023 reprint by Aristo.