Review: Sons of the Devil #13
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Toni Infante
Colourist: Mado Pena
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Image Comics
In Sons of the Devil, Image have acquired yet another title brewing with dark stained tension, pregnant horror and whispers in every shaded corner of the page. In case you haven’t come across Sons before, the creators aimed to offer a dual media format with the comic being released alongside a film version (available to watch on Vimeo) which widens the world within the comic. Does it work? It doesn’t really matter to fans of horror comics, to be honest, as the books are delicious, regardless. The tale follows a blood drenched trail of killings spanning four decades. Various demonic figures cast their far-reaching shadows over America, trying their luck at distorting the minds and hearts of any individuals who could do their bidding for them on Earth. Sound too familiar? I guess elements of the series have hugely borrowed from cult classic horror movies of the seventies, and the comic does very much have a seventies feel to it. But this is a massive bonus. As with another of Image’s seventies referencing title Cannibal, the series only feels further enriched and reminded this reader how much the seventies left him traumatised as well as only able to refer to himself in third person…
In this issue, we kick off in ’72 in Texas where a demon once again provokes bloodshed in a seemingly christian heartland. Blast forward to LA in the present, and the murder takes on new consequences and meaning. The action, when we’re suitably built up, is ferocious and those aforementioned build-ups, really work their magic. The writer hasn’t allowed much breathing space and the result is as claustrophobic as it is hair-raising. Pace is paramount and this feels like a high speed car chase at times. This is heightened by the economic use of words and text bubbles. Buccellato doesn’t waste words where action and facial expressions do the talking. Clever sequencing leads to a much bigger emphasis on the reader studying the situation and frames to expose the narrative. To this end, the art really had to match the writer’s madness.
Infante (Ravenous, Sons of Anarchy) is a modern master at using lines. The lines aren’t simply observed as outlines but define urgency of movement, the passing of time and the edges of darkness. Minimal lines can define hugely expressive faces, which is a real skill. Additionally, I take my hat off for the integrated, Batman-style use of onomatopoeic text for car crashes and the like, which is used in a way that is neither cheesy nor obtrusive. The colouring leans towards the darker palates and this suits the mood down to the ground. Just look at the richness of the red hues surrounding any demonic appearances.
To sum up, this is a great example of people who are masters of their trade, and getting better year on year, joined in holy matrimony to produce beautiful comic babies. Buy it.
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Review written by Arun S.