Review: The High Priestess Chapter One (Damn Dirty Comics)

Creator Rees Finlay is a man of many talents. Not only is he the host of podcast Declaration of Independents, but he is also a talented writer, artist and creator of graphic novels like, the Blue Flame. Now Finlay, brings us The High Priestess, an old unfinished idea about a woman in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell. but will this new comic be divine reading or end up in purgatory?

Publisher: Damn Dirty Comics
Writer: Rees Finlay
Artist: Rees Finlay
Price: Free via the Comichaus App

Holly Peters is the titular High Priestess, an unwitting soldier in the middle of a war between the forces of Heaven and those of Hell. After halting a bank robbery, Holly is tasked with tracking down a drug dealer in league with the forces of evil who may have knowledge regarding a group of missing, possibly hijacked, children. As Holly begins her investigation, discovers that the forces of evil she now faces are more literal than she could have expected.

The High Priestess is an interesting comic, providing readers with a dark and gritty story starring a protagonist who feels a cross between Jessica Jones and John Constantine. The story does struggle in the beginning as it produces a degree of confusion surrounding Holly’s circumstances for her current predicament.

However, Rees Finlay is able to amend this quickly as the pace improves and nuggets of backstory are offered to bring more intrigue in regards to Holly’s past. This culminates in a cliffhanger which then offers readers the most compelling questions regarding her former life, making a most tempting bait to return for a second issue.

The High Priestess returns

Finlay’s artwork also works well to compliment his story. Looking dark and rather rough, the style is one which does work well to match the narratives tone, offering a reminiscence to fellow street Hero book Brethern Born or, more generally, artist Jon Scrivens horror work. Examples of this synergy of styles are rampant throughout the title, such as Holly’s battle with a Demon or Gabriel’s mind meld like manoeuvre, but neither one really imposes itself upon the other, maintaining the balance necessary to allow the art to fit.

While it may have started with a bit of a bump, The High Priestess turned out to be an interesting, entertaining and enjoyable comic. With some cool horror infused artwork and a bundle of questions which need answering by the end, Rees Finlay has crafted a story which, at the very least, needs a second issue and, if it can build on its momentum, maybe more beyond.