Oni Press 2017
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Brian Hurt
Coloured by Bill Crabtree
In a Prohibition-era world where demonic princes pull the strings that make crime families dance, Eddie is a mortal with two things working for him.First of all, he can’t die. Well, he can and does, quite often, but he doesn’t stay down for long. Second, Eddie runs the Gehenna Room, a nightclub with a strict “no demons allowed” policy. But blessings and curses don’t look all that different these days, and failing to tell the two apart can get a guy killed–over and over again in Eddie’s case.So when one of Eddie’s old pals shows up seeking sanctuary, Eddie knows he’s in for a double-cross, and that means walking the line between salvation and damnation once more.
There are some things you remember and for me it was seeing the guys years ago at a convention, I wanna say Columbus, when I first started going to them where I found the original series. So now years later that it’s back fills me with that kind of happiness seeing an old forgotten friend does. I think what this issue does though is not only revisit Eddie and this world but it gives everyone a chance to find it either all over again or for the first time and in both cases feel the same way.
The way this opens up is great as we see Eddie going through the city, bleeding profusely from his throat by the by, about to do something he’ll regret when we go back 24 hours to see how it got to this place. Eddie’s taken the club and banned demons from being in it and turned it into a high society mover and shaker kind of joint. Too bad Eddie’s life never seems to go as smoothly as he’d like it to and when the interesting bits start the buys bring em one after the other. The way this story is structured, paced and along with the characterisation make for some stellar reading.
Brian’s interiors here are just as brilliant as I remember them being on this character. His eye for storytelling is fantastic and the way he utilises page layouts through angles, perspective and those all important backgrounds help tell the story to it’s fullest. Also the muted colours mainly seen in the backgrounds really do add an air of old school feel to this that is appreciated as are the uses when it’s meant to pop and stand out brightly.
Alright I love that by the end of the issue we’ve got a solid idea what’s happening, why and how Eddie got involved. So now it’s more about seeing how things unfolded and then continue from where we leave things. That this has all the makings of those old black and white noir crime thrillers is just icing on the cake. There’s something to be said for this kind of storytelling that’s solid, interesting and engaging that doesn’t rely upon shock value to make the reader sit up and pay attention.