Skybound/Image Comics 2016
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Niko Walter
Coloured by Dan Brown
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
To save his daughter, Scott Graves made a bargain with Aeshma, a demon that only he can see and hear. Now he must harvest enough souls to quench her thirst, while NY's finest investigate the trail of the dead.
Well this issue was certainly interesting to say the least. I’m still waiting for last issues bombshell that something like this, seeing Aeshma, to be furthered explored unless I read that wrong. In the meantime Scott’s inner struggle opens up this issue rather nicely. That he’s gone and created this outfit that merges Hellraiser and Freddy Krueger shows us forethought and while he’s still making himself sick over what he’s done the line has already been crossed and how this be moving forward remains a mystery. What Christopher does with the characterisation here is pretty spectacular in that regard.
All the while NIko and Dan do this thing with the interiors that is incredibly strong, dark and creepy. Aeshma has this tail or appendage that keeps appearing and disappearing and doing these weird things and it’s great because it’s like this nervous or excited tick that she has and it’s unsettling to put it mildly. Her in white in stark contrast to the dark heavy work they bring really does make an impact and I have to admit it’s rather effective. Their work on the regular people front, see cops and the station, is great. The flow of the book through page layouts with the use of angles and perspective not to mention the backgrounds really engage the reader and give us the fuller look of the city.
We’re introduced to a new character in Hendricks who specialises in cases like the one the cops have. Of course it’s Scott’s victims and a cop was involved so he’s been called in from being on vacation to work this one. I wouldn’t call him that rock n roll type but he’s certainly charismatic and already sees what Scott’s doing in eliminating those no one would care were gone. There’s more here than meets the eye with him and it’ll be interesting to see how that comes into play as we learn more and more about him.
My first thought was that Scott was mentally unbalanced and that by agreeing to Aeshma’s terms he was unleashing something within himself that longed to be free. With the events of this issue that started being reaffirmed but leave it to Christopher to thrown in a few events and instances that make re-question everything i’ve thought thus far. I am a huge fan of how he’s been writing this one. He’s engaging the reader’s mind and having you think about what’s presented and then throws things into the mix that challenge what you’ve come up and force you to re-think. It’s what good writers do.
I love the fact that this series calls into question a sickness of the mind versus are demons real and forces the reader to come up with their own theories and beliefs. While doing that he’s bringing us one heck of a murder mystery thriller and vigilantism that at first you think is horrible but secretly cheer as he cleans up the streets of the city.