"The Devilers #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Matt Triano
2014, 32 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on July 16th, 2014
You know those corny “Coexist” bumper stickers, where each letter is a symbol from a different religion? The “t” is a cross. The “o” is a yin-yang. I guess it's supposed to mean peace or something. What if all of these different belief structures had to work together to prevent the end of the world? That's sort of the idea behind The Devilers, written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Matt Triano. Take the Avengers and make each one a representative from a different religion.
The group's reluctant leader is Father Malcolm O'Rourke, who has a special sight allowing him to see demons and other members of Satan's army that lurk just outside of our normal visual spectrum. Although he's a priest, O'Rourke has lost his faith, even though he has firsthand experience with demons. From the way the book is shaping up, this might be due to the way the leaders of the church handled some problems that he brought to their attention.
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The Devilers wastes no time getting to the action. There are a few pages of O'Rourke talking to a skeptic at a bar before he's literally pulled into a battle where the Vatican is sinking into the ground and demons are preparing to storm the planet from the pits of Hell. While I'm glad that Fialkov gets right to it, the book moves almost too quickly. There's barely a page spent introducing the other members of the team before pitting them up against some big bad. The events of this issue seem like they happen over the course of maybe ten minutes.
There are some tidbits that I'm hoping get expanded upon in future issues. Cardinal David Michael Reed, who pulls O'Rourke into this whole mess in the first place, alludes to a deal that the church made with Satan centuries ago that the devil is reneging. What were the parameters of this arrangement to begin with? Why would the Vatican do this? As there are seven members of the Devilers and seven issues in the series, I hope that some more time is spent establishing each of the characters. Maybe we'll get different perspectives with each issue.
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Matt Triano knows how to draw the apocalypse. There's a double-page spread early on showing the utter chaos that the Vatican has fallen into. It's a mess of fire and destruction that has been brought forth by Satan's army. A bit later on, Triano shows you some of the soldiers fighting for the dark side, and they're downright terrifying. A beautiful woman appears amongst the debris completely nude. When some military men approach her to see if she needs help, her mid-section explodes in a flurry of tentacles and teeth. A parade of similarly horrifying creatures follow her, each unique in their monstrosities. I'm really looking forward to what other beasts Triano has in store with this series.
The Devilers gets going fast and furious. It wastes no time with pleasantries, instead devoting almost the entire premiere issue to action and terror. The world could very well be ending with a horde of demons marching up from the depths of Hell. Humanity's only hope lies in an unlikely collection of religions thrown together to push everything back into the darkness. Now would be a good time to pray to whatever you think is holy.