"Man of Sin: An Anti-Christ Story #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Andrew Guilde
Illustrated by Camilo Ponce
2016, 25 Pages
There are few things sadder then the death of a child. Damien Nero is struggling to put his life back together after the death of his young son, Jordan. One year has passed and his world is shattered. His wife left him. He's unemployed. The police never found the killer and they seem to have given up on the search. Damien is convinced it was someone Jordan knew based on a voice he heard in the background of his son's voicemail.
Man of Sin opens on a seemingly unrelated scene of blood-drenched anarchy. It's unclear how this mayhem connects to Damien's life, but I'm dying to find out. It's such a juxtaposition to the down-and-out doldrums that he finds himself in.
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When we jump into Damien's world, it's through a flashback. Hats off to artist Camilo Ponce, who colors this piece differently than the rest of the book. This scene is faded, like an old photograph, which is a stark contrast to the fiery brimstone of the first few pages. When we get to present-day Damien, the colors are muted, which goes hand-in-hand with his current mental state. He sees everything through a shadowy haze.
Ponce's pencils are very loose, giving the artwork a sketch-like quality. It's light on details, focusing on the basic forms of the characters and their environments. It's not a style that I'm crazy about, but it works with the overall look and feel of the book. One thing is for certain, Ponce has a talent for art direction. The panel layout is superb and there is one amazing spread towards the end of the issue that is absolutely breathtaking. It perfectly captures the intensity of the emotion in that moment.
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You really feel for Damien early on. He's come to somewhat blame himself for the death of his son and he's saved a voicemail on his phone that was left by the boy on the day he went missing. You can't tell how often he's listened to it, but it's probably rather frequently. Jordan's death consumes Damien and everything around him. He is torn down to rock bottom before he's given an unlikely helping hand that can take him down a very dark path.
The tension steadily builds with each page turn of Man of Sin. Writer Andrew Guilde manages the pace very well. This leads to an exciting, jaw-dropping crescendo of a cliffhanger that will leave you begging for more. It's a solid opening issue that's tailor made for fans of The Omen. You're pulled so deep into Damien's life that you need to find out where he goes next.