In Dark Horse and Madhouse Publishing’s team effort “DEVIL” a virus is raging across the planet turning humans into blood-sucking super-humans called devils. Most of the infected die within days, sometimes even months after becoming sick. Others, the new strain, do not die but become stronger with time. Enter Investigating Officer Takimoto aka “Punisher”. A man who isn’t afraid to go Dirty Harry on The Cullen’s or any other vamps that get in his way. Read on for the full review.
Ever since Dark Horse announced its plans to release “DEVIL” I’ve been a little excited for the project, if only for the fact that the makers of “TRIGUN” were involved with the production. The story itself is a bit recycled, and going in I didn’t expect greatness, but I hoped that Mike Richardson’s story would at the very least leave me pleasantly surprised. What I found was mixed bag.
Right off the bat you’ll notice that this artwork is not your usual style. Being from Madhouse one could have only expected a heavy Japanese style, but what we are given looks to be straight up stills from an actual Anime that were converted to make a comic book. This isn’t terrible seeing as the art itself resembles that of a “COWBOY BEBOP” or “GUNGRAVE”, and the colors do a lot to compliment the style. In no way is the art a detouring factor for the story, but it is also something you will have to get past if you are not conditioned to the style of an overseas production. (Which if you aren’t by now then I would doubt you picked this one up, and if you did it’s probably not going to change your mind)
The story line is better than I had expected from the Daybreakersesque plot. Takimoto is your usual hardboiled detective that always has a cigarette in the corner of his mouth and a penchant for pissing off his peers. Takimoto believes firmly that the infected are no longer human and deserve the fate that he delivers them citing them as monsters. Of course he is shadowed Detective Migiwa, a woman who holds that the infected are “devil possessed” and therefore cannot help their conditions. That is until a run in with an “S Class” Devil threatens to kill them both.
As I said the story is solid if not overdone, and there is plenty of action and violence to keep you entertained. The real problem though is the dialogue. “DEVIL” issue one suffers from a mean case of ‘lost in translation’ that is at times downright confusing. It is obvious that there is some interesting stuff going on here, but when it is not being explained to us in broken English, it is merely eluded to. I can cut the story a lot of slack for the latter, being the first issue in the 4 part mini, even if it obviously puts plot and character development on the back-burner throughout the entire issue. It does leave one wondering why the publishers chose to go with a short 24 pages instead of the standard 32 in order to pack in more depth.
When all is done and read, “DEVIL” #1 is a decent enough read that readers should be able to find some enjoyment in. There are some plot-points that are touched on that make for some interesting story down the road, and the art style is sleek as hell. If you can get past the at times unbearable dialogue then “DEVIL” #1 from Dark Horse and Madhouse is a safe choice for those looking for something new in the vampire genre.
3 Out Of 5 Skulls