Story: Gail Simone
Art: Walter Geovani
Colors: Adriano Augusto
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
The Death-Defying ‘Devil’s time in the Winslow house brings him closer to the people he has sworn to protect, but a mystery inside the house is blooming, while the enemy outside moves in closer. Threats loom everywhere and the ‘Devil may be the greatest of them all.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series was one that took some adjusting to since it’s dealing with a character connected to a larger run of works that I had never read, and his own previous series was well over a decade ago at that. But if you read comics for any real length of time you learn how to jump in mid-story and run with it. It’s even easier with Gail Simone at the helm as she works to make things accessible while giving out tidbits to those that are familiar so everyone is happy. It also works out nicely since she’s working with Walter Geovani again and I’m digging his style on this, especially with Augusto’s color designs that give our title character a lot of pop and expressiveness.
With our title character, who reveals that his name is Bart later in the book, having saved Winslow House and its residents for the time being, he’s spending a lot of time with the matriarch of the place. Louisa Thomas is a pleasing woman in the traditional little old lady archetype as she talks about her time being in the pictures back in the day, not going the casting couch route because she was a good girl, but also being afraid of going outside and being in the world because of how life changes. You see this with a lot of seniors, often in your own family to similar degrees, and it moves you. It’s engaging watching as she talks and fills Bart in on thing while serving him cake and drink – all while he’s navigating the cats. But he’s listening as well and it moves him to the point of getting her coat to take her to the market. Her time talking about it reminds you of the simple and small things that can mean so much to someone like her, who as she said is old, poor, and scared. A little time in someplace so clean and bright can do so much.
Of course, going out like a gentleman with her isn’t going to go over well with the thugs outside. They do let them reach the market and that allows Louisa to be distracted by everything. That allows the fight to go on with her not seeing it behind her, at least at first. But as good as it goes for Bart, it takes a darker turn with the cops arriving and him having another seizure. This one tosses him in an old west style piece that’s similar to a film of Louisa’s. It’s definitely interesting to watch unfold and explore how Bart’s mind is working and how he interprets others, but it went on just a bit overly long for me and trying to figure out how much may be in his head and how much is being said – both by him and others – left me feeling a bit disconnected from the back third of the book.
I’m still digging the strangeness of the book and the “low stakes” of it in regards to a superhero and what they usually get involved in. It’s making a huge impact on Bart and it plays well to show just how invested in it he’s become. Louisa’s story resonates with me since I deal with a lot of elderly women at times and hear similar things in different ways more often than is right. Louisa’s fear is strong and it’s keeping her scared and Bart intends to protect her so that she can experience what she wants. It’s a book that moves well in general, plays a little overlong in the end, but leaves me trusting Simone and Geovani in that they know what they’re up to.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: September 4th, 2019