I pity the demon.
Story: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art: Matt Triano
Color: Mark Roberts
Letters: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
When the world is under siege from the pits of hell, it’s up to the DEVILERS to set things right. Seven of the world’s greatest exorcists pit themselves against Satan’s army, and all of creation hangs in the balance. From the writer of THE BUNKER, THE ULTIMATES, and I, VAMPIRE comes a horror fueled adventure through hell itself.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Vatican burns. A huge, gaping hole to Hell is open in the crater and unspeakable, invisible creatures stream forth to sow terror on the Earth. Invisible, that is, except to a select few. Think of them as the A-Team of exorcists, with the main character, Father Malcolm O’Rourke, playing the role of Hannibal. They don’t necessarily get along, and they all stand as outsiders, but they each possess an extraordinary ability and if they are able to put their differences aside they may be able to save us from Hell.
Fialkov wastes no time getting to the action. The story begins with Father Malcolm talking about demons and faith with an atheist in a bar, while watching the Vatican burn on the television. He’s recruited by a Cardinal who then transports him and the atheist to the disaster site where they are met by six other exorcists from various faiths and backgrounds.
While it is exciting and makes for a quick read, the pace makes this feel like a flashy book with little substance. I have no clear idea of who any of these characters are or what motivates them. Malcolm has the most development, but that’s not saying a lot. He’s an exorcist who has fallen in disfavor with the Church who continually denounces what he has seen and experienced. That’s an interesting angle, and I’m sure that it will be explored in greater detail later, but for the moment it feels tacked on, almost like the story is running over itself to get through the establishing part of the story and jump right into the action.
The action is good, by the way, so I suppose I can’t blame it too much for that. Triano’s style is more realistic than cartoony and he does a great job of creating pace with his panels, often eschewing gutter space and overlaying panels. The line work is a little heavy, though, with shadows and thick lines being used a little too much, sometimes affecting the character’s expressions. There are times when his faces look just a little off. It’s possible that this darkness is exacerbated by Roberts’ colors, which are often cool and muted except for the scenes with the demons: those are washed in sickly reds and yellows, effectively enhancing their sense of power and otherworldliness.
The first issue of Devilers is a fun, quick read, but also rather hollow, with solid artwork that occasionally falls flat. If I picked this up at the shop, I probably wouldn’t get the second issue. It’s not that this is bad, but it didn’t really capture me. Hopefully the second issue will add a bit more depth to the story. Not recommended.
Age Rating: N/A but I wouldn’t let kids see this.
Released By: Dynamite
Release Date: 16 July 2014