Published on May 27th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
Sons Of The Devil #1 Review
Co-writer on DC’s Flash comic and one time colourist on the horror comic Hellblazer, Brian Buccellato brings his own horror vision to Image comics this week with issue one of Sons of the Devil.
The story starts in 1989 with a child kidnapping and a rather brutal murder with a small hammer. It’s a violent opening and made more disturbing by the fact the entire incident is noticeably witnessed by one of the babies, his mismatched eyes focusing on the heinous act.
The story then shifts to the present day where we are introduced to Travis. Everything about him points to him being a good guy, he’s a dog lover, easy going and despite being late for work he stops to help a young neighbourhood boy who has lost his way. Unfortunately his lateness doesn’t go down too well with his boss. Four panels in this scene show a different side to Travis and, in a way, undermines all the goodness that preceded it. He loses his temper, his language becomes coarse, he grits his teeth and he head-butts his boss in a red washed, thin panel. The shape and sound effect in the panel illustrates the violence of the movement and the reader is left with both extremes of the central character, something reflected in the mismatched colours of his eyes.
Elsewhere Travis’ friend, Klay, is trying to track down Travis’ family. It turns out Travis is an orphan and has been shunted from foster home to foster home. However, at one of the homes he made friends with Klay who in his adult life has become a private detective. During his investigation he meets someone who passes on information regarding an Orphan Adult Support Group. At first this seems irrelevant but it becomes an important part of the story, especially as Travis is arrested for the assault on his boss.
The story continues to introduce characters and piles intrigue upon intrigue. There is another brutal murder in the same vain as the original, similar weapon and everything, and a final shocking page almost guarantees you’ll be back for issue two.
The story is very well planned and moves at a surprising pace, it’s very impressive how much is crammed into this first issue. The life of Travis and the strange violent cult world that Buccellato is building is interlaced with just enough of each element to build the lead’s character and remind the reader that it is a horror comic. Toni Infante’s artwork evokes a similar feel to Jason Latour’s work on Southern Bastards. There is an energy to the action and the composition that draws you into the story. And the violence is made more disturbing by the focus on the characters, the close ups of the victims face or reactions by the witnesses.
The bonus to this comic is that I don’t have to try and imagine what it would look like as a T.V. series because there is a short film based on the comic available to watch for free. And it’s a wonderful companion to the comic.
Sons of the Devil is a gripping opening to a story that is humorous in places and upsetting in others. It has everything it needs to get you interested and then leaves enough unexplained to make you need the second issue. I’m not sure where the story is going to go, it hints at a possible supernatural edge but could as easily involve genetic cloning gone wrong, but wherever it goes it is worth following.
Title: Sons of the Devil
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Toni Infante