IDW Publishing 2015
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Jeremy Rock
Coloured by Nolan Woodard
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Let’s face as a society we’re fascinated by the idea of demons breaking free of hell and which ones would come out which sealed gates or the breaking of a seal as it were. So it’s no surprise that I found this extremely entertaining. James has this unique voice and talent where he can seemingly write just about everything there is.
There was a soft reveal here and it seemed to build steadily throughout the issue. We meet Amelia as she’s in her shrinks office talking about her latest episode. As she describes her experience of reading to a group of Kindergarten children you aren’t sure if she’s a teacher or what she really is and it gets even weirder when we see what happens to her face. Well not just that it’s more like she kind of goes all demonic and becomes some weird creature who attacks the children.
Her doctor keeps a stoic face at her description and the medication he prescribes can only do so much. Classic Doctor turnaround stuff for a patient meaning he has no idea how to help her or she’s experiencing something he doesn’t want to really stop. Once we get outside the office the mystery behind who she is gets a little deeper and the dialogue a little lighter and more on the fun side. So as it turns out Amelia is the First Lady and the man we’ve met is Brian and he’s in charge of her and her staff.
So now we’ve got this whole mystery of why the first lady is having visions of herself turning into some demonic creature. Of course these episodes seem to come with a fainting spell leading to speculation there’s an eating disorder happening which has the whole White House staff up in arms and her husband concerned. Also there’s something odd with her Doctor, Elliott and his phone call when he sees her that raises a lot of questions.
So with pretty much nothing to go on but our own imagination this story is off to a wonderful start. I mean c’mon people is there anything more powerful than a person’s imagination when it comes to making up scenarios about what’s happening here? We can run the gamut of possibilities and they are probably much stranger than reality that we’ll be given. So what James does exceptionally well here is vaguely introduce us to a world where the first lady is experiencing some form of dementia and could possibly be possessed. We don’t know we don’t have enough information except that something wicked this way comes.
Jeremy and Nolan bring this incredible sense of realism, in that they look and behave like ordinary folks, to the characters and by having Doc Elliott’s eyes so piercing blue and Amelia’s transformation so cinematic that we are completely enthralled. These mirror image transformations are amazing to witness alongside the pretty woman they belong to.
I have a feeling as this story continues it will be something increasingly horrific and I look forward to seeing just what the Eighth Seal is and how it’s broken.