Review: ‘Kiss Me, Satan!’ #1

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Cajun folklore has inspired many supernatural themed tales in popular culture, and New Orleans seems to be an increasingly common backdrop for these stories. With mythology that is rich with legendary beings — like the shape-shifting rougarou (werewolves), witches, vampires, swamp monsters, and ghosts — it’s not hard to see why. Furthering the trend is Victor Gischler, who has teamed up with Juan Ferreyra and Dark Horse Comics, to deliver some of these fabled elements to The Crescent City.

WRITTEN BY: Victor Gischler
ART BY: Juan Ferreyra
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: September 18, 2013

“Kiss Me, Satan!” #1 skillfully juggles parallel storylines that intersect in extremely violent ways. The first establishes the series’ protagonist and narrator, Barnabus Black, as a fallen angel and anti-hero on the run from Satan’s retrieval team of demons. The second follows lycanthropic mafia boss, Cassian Steele, whose position of power is threatened by an all-seeing witch named Verona. Upon discovering his reign-ending secret, a large bounty is placed on Verona’s head, and Barnabus becomes her protection in an attempt to regain his halo.

This is a five-part miniseries that kicks off at an expectedly fast pace—considering Gischler’s knack for powering through narratives—and maintains its accelerated speed until the end. Being that the book is set in a city that’s rife with supernatural and paranormal mythos, there’s a safe bet to be made that Gischler will continue this streak of non-stop action and violence, while expanding on the series’ mythology that’s teased in the first issue. Even with the limited space, there could still potentially be a lot of creative—and unearthed—ground to cover, but I imagine he’ll be up to the task.

Honestly, the basic concept of pitting supernatural beings against each other, in a desperate fight for power and control, is hardly an inspired one. Especially considering the clichéd setting in which the author and artist are constructing their dark fantasy world. But there’s a finely developed sense of environment and world-building — which Gischler displays in the series opener — that will spark the readers’ interest. There’s also a curious cast of otherworldly characters, caught in the author’s action-packed thrill ride of a narrative, who will ensure their investment.

Juan Ferreyra’s artwork is also a significant factor when it comes to reeling in consumers. With crisp, detailed, and professional renderings of Gischler’s world adorning the pages, he brings an exceptional sense of clarity to visual storytelling. The action flies through the panels in a smooth and remarkably fluid manner; perfectly evidenced through two separate chase scenes on foot, and by car. His illustrations of the werewolves are surprisingly more expressive prior to their transformation, but he manages to demonstrate their strength and agility well, post change. His witches are simultaneously sophisticated and edgy. And his imagining of Barnabus Black resembles an odd mix of Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, and Kratos from “God of War”. I’ve yet to decide whether that’s cheesy or awesome. In terms of carnage and chaos, there’s not a whole lot of bloodshed, but this issue features two wonderfully gory panels that highlight Ferreyra’s talent, only further proof that he’s a natural fit for this book.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – ShadowJayd