This slice of demonic horror from ComiXology Originals sees superstar writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Nocterra) team back up with his Batman artist Greg Capullo, for a slice of grisly visceral story telling.
Publisher: ComiXology Originals
Writer: Scott Snyder,
Artist: Geg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
Price: Issue #1 – £3.19 for Kindle Edition
Issue #2 – £3.19 for Kindle Edition
Issue #3 – £3.19 for Kindle Edition
Or free with Prime Reading
Lam Lyle finds out more than she bargained for when her Dad dies and she learns about his secret as a demon hunter. As she unpicks his secrets she learns about his role in a group called the Glories as well as the role mysterious substances called halo and horn have on the world. She also meets his former partner, a friendly demon called Gus – which I guess spoils the reveal of what the big secret is!
This is one of those books which channels several familiar concepts but brings them together in such a unique way as to feel really one of a kind. As you would expect with a writer of Snyder’s calibre, he tells the story brilliantly, giving us Lam’s back story in issue 1 followed by Gus in issue 2 to give both sides of the coin. And just when you think you have a handle on where it’s going, he throws you a curve ball. After issue 1, you expect this to be a more gothic tale in the vein of Sandman or Spawn, it ends up being a much more contemporary tale with the silver suited Glories feeling more like a futuristic X group than and a bunch of crusty old demon hunters and it reminded us a lot of his work on Nocterra as a result.
While we have seen the demon hunter concept before in everything from Hellblazer to the wonderful Steeple, Snyder definitely gives it his own spin and Originals feels like a place where can creators can develop ideas without the pressure of it being for a major publisher. However the story does seems to leap forward and the introduction of the Glories feels rushed, like he wanted to move through the gears too quickly to get to the more glossy adventure stuff and so it bypasses some of the more logical develop elements of the story.
Snyder also relies on a lot of dense dialogue to set the scene, and while this does a great job of world building (something we often criticise other books for not doing!) it also makes makes for a very wordy read. This reminded us of some of the excesses of writers like Brian Bendis or Ed Brubaker, but this does allow the more gory and horrific elements space to breathe as they don’t have to be on every page.
Speaking of which, Capullo’s work is once again at it’s visceral best. We’ve been a fan of his since the first time he deputised for Todd McFarlane on Spawn in the 90s and this definitely feels like he is revelling in a return to this kind of visceral and monstrous work. His demonic characters are equal part toothily terrifying and gruesomely gory and look like a John Carpenter alien brought to comic book form – but with more cross hatching! His fine line work is superbly fleshed our by inker Jonathan Glappion and the colours from Dave McCaig are equally go from a warm and hellish hue in the opening chapter to a much colder style in subsequent issues.
While we love the artwork on show in this issue, we will say that Capullo’s fondness for a double page spread doesn’t always work in the single page environment of a digital first comic book and we found ourselves zooming in a lot as we read, which isn’t ideal!
Of the the Snyder comics released so far via Originals (see also Night of the Ghoul and Clear), this is by far our favourite and feels like the most ambitious – as well as the one with the most interest and star power to really pique our curiosity. It will be interesting to see if Snyder and co can continue to master these demonic forces and with it create a truly monstrous adventure series in time!