"Demonic #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Niko Walter
Colored by Dan Brown
2016, 32 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on August 17th, 2016
Detective Scott Graves is a clean cut cop. He's made mistakes, but he plays things by the book now. When his daughter Lucy's health takes a turn for the worse, Graves gives in to a literal demon. In exchange for working for it, killing in its name, Lucy will get better. If he doesn't, his family will be torn apart piece by piece. Easy decision, right?
Demonic presents a heart-wrenching journey for Scott Graves. He's a man with a checkered past that he's been trying to forget – and perhaps more importantly make up for. Funny enough, this is not his first encounter with the supernatural. This demon has been riding shotgun along with him for years, but she's managed to suppress it down. Now, in a time of weakness, it's popped up again and it's ready to make a deal.
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The demon, Aeshma, appears as a beautiful woman in a white dress. The first time we see her, she's materializing out of flies. It's a creepy shot as most of her body is fully formed, but her left leg is still solidifying, so it's made up of a bunch of flies and nothing else. Artist Niko Walter's designs for the character are so creepy. This is just the beginning. You wouldn't like her when she's angry. Talons burst from her finger tips. Her skin gets red and bumpy, like some sort of lizard.
Walter scatters a number of small, close-up panels among the larger images. These show a detailed look at a smaller item, such as a woman's smile or a bleeding hand. If this was a film, they might have been still images, flashing on the screen for a brief moment. The comic form gives them room to breathe as you mull over each gory detail.
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Dan Brown's colors leave a dark tone throughout Demonic. It starts with a hazy city day with the first page ending with a corpse landing on the sidewalk, bloody entrails spilling everywhere. This builds to a literal fire before the Graves family rushes to the hospital where there's a sterile look. The comic culminates in darkness, with blood-red hues popping off the page. Scott Graves becomes more than a man and definitely a monster.
Demonic shows the lengths a man is willing to go for his family, even if that means submitting to a literal evil and committing heinous acts of murder. It presents a very real feeling that any parent can relate to. There is a constant unsettling feeling that permeates throughout every panel, leading up to one of the best cliffhanger endings you'll read all year. From beginning to end, Demonic is a great read and well worth your time.