"Planet of the Daemons #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Amigo Comics
Written by Kevin Gunstone
Illustrated by Paul Moore
Colored by Stefan Mrkonjic
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 30th, 2016
Along the barren wastelands of Qliphoth rides a lone magistrate, Amos Deathridge. Sporting what looks like a medieval football helmet and a revolver, he serves as a jailor to the daemons across this supernatural realm that seek to invade Earth. He wasn't always running around like a cowboy. He used to be in Massachusetts in 1649. How he got from there to here is still a mystery.
Planet of the Daemons works a dual storyline, showing Amos' life in 1649 as a harsh man ready to smite a woman for witchcraft and his life in the present in Qliphoth, seemingly serving a far more noble cause. It's certainly one where it's much easier to tell whether or not someone is evil. They look the part here whereas back home they could look like an innocent old woman.
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Speaking of these monsters in Qliphoth, there's a nice variety to them. Artist Paul Moore delivers winged creatures, Chewbacca-like hairy demons, and a blue devil. The landscape is desolate with no structures for as far as the eye can see. If this is a jail, it's a pretty open one. There are no cells or chains. I guess it's like the Phantom Zone in a way.
The design for Amos in his gaoler outfit is a bit odd. It's like an amalgam of different eras, mixing Puritans with medieval knights and cowboys. It's almost as if he was a child playing dress up and grabbed a piece of everything he thought was cool.
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There is a lot to take in with Planet of the Daemons. It feels like we're jumping in to a story a few chapters in instead of starting at the beginning. It's not clear at first that the two storylines are connected. There is no narration to say “I wasn't always like this...” or something along those lines. The comic jumps abruptly from Qliphoth to Massachusetts with no explanation. The only link is that you hear Amos' name in both spots so you can presume it's the same guy. As a result, it's tough to get into the story and even harder to relate to Amos, as he's presented as an arrogant madman in the past. How he redeemed himself and ended up here is still a mystery.
Planet of the Daemons blends some interesting elements, but ultimately is less than the sum of its parts. We're plopped into the story with little background and struggle to put together the pieces without enough information. I'm not saying we need to know everything about the story and the characters within the first issue. It's just that there's not enough here to make me want to come back for more. There's no hook or cliffhanger. Instead, the issue just kind of ends with Amos entering a building and seeing something and we have no real context for the importance of either.