"Darkness Visible #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Mike Carey & Arvind Ethan David
Illustrated by Brendan Cahill
Colored by Joana Lafuente
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 22nd, 2017
Humankind is no longer the only sentient race in the world. Demons have risen up and now share the space, living in a strange symbiotic relationship with humans. While they're all sharing the planet, tensions run high and there are constant terrorist attacks. Detective Daniel Aston is a “cyclops,” a human cop working the supernatural beat in London. Things seem fine until the demons hit too close to home. Now he's in a peculiar position and struggling to protect his daughter from harm, even if that means wracking up a death toll.
Writers Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David waste no time establishing the world of Darkness Visible. You get a quick understanding as to how the two races work together, which is delivered organically in conversation instead of a long, drawn out history lesson. Demons are living in the human world and as a result, they need money and places to live. There are homeless demons. Think about that for a second. You're walking down the street and there's a hobo panhandling, but he's got arms like a praying mantis and elf ears. This is an everyday sight.
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Artist Brendan Cahill's designs for these creatures are varied and impressive. Although there are some similarities between a few of them, they're all pretty unique. Some have horns or tails. One's in a track suit. The one that definitely stands out is the woman that appears in the first few pages. She opens up her trenchcoat to reveal that a demonic face covers her torso. The eyes appear just beneath her breasts, the nose just above her navel, and the large mouth with long protruding tongue right over her crotch. It's a disturbing yet intriguing image that really catches your eye.
The stark determination in Aston shines through in his design as well. You get the sense from the first moment you see him that he's a standup guy. He's loyal to his job and wants to do what's right, but also needs to make time for his daughter and make sure she's raised properly in this crazy world. When the action heats up, you can tell that Aston is a man you can count on. He's an action hero waiting to happen.
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The reveal of the demon getting into Aston is not much of a spoiler considering it's in the solicitation text as well as the intro paragraph to the book. This would have been something best found out on its own as it serves as a nice cliffhanger ending. The bulk of this issue works to establish Aston and this world. It shows what a nice, albeit occasionally conflicted life this man leads before shaking it to its very core.
Darkness Visible is the supernatural police book I didn't know I wanted. It mixes elements of exciting cop shows with horror and a bit of family drama to make a compelling comic with real characters and real stakes.