Devil’s Due Comics 2018
Written by DB Stanley
Illustrated by Daniel Leister
Coloured by Carlos Alberto Moreno Diaz
Lettered by Crank!
Ending up on the wrong end Reed Daniels’ shotgun while trying to approach him at his farmhouse, Danny and Abby are marched to the barn to explain themselves. Fortunately for them Reed turns out not to be the Headsman that attacked Danny in the parking garage. Unfortunately for them, the homicidal, real world Headsman has hunted them down, and trapped them in the barn….
I am continually impressed with this series. DB has a great mind when it comes to writing and how he is able to structure a book and make it flow seamlessly through it’s pages. The concept here too is utterly marvellous and we’ve seen a “B-movie” horror film franchise brought to life in the real world without it being cheesy or camp is a huge feat. The creativity and imagination required to make this a real life whodunnit and why is something that any die-hard fan can get behind.
There are aspects of this story that separate it from your normal slasher film tropes, aside from the fact that this was a film franchise that came to life in the form of the main character slashing up people who are associated with the franchise. First there is an actual story here one that involves our teenage sleuthing trio, a kind of modern day Three Investigator’s (Alfred Hitchcock Presents for a good chunk of the novels), as they try to track down clues and find out who’s really behind this and if what the VHS tape claimed was true. It is a race against time to find the evidence and put the real mastermind behind bars but can they do it and remain alive is the real question!
The characterisation here is pure dynamite in my humble opinion. From dialogue through their actions the characters are fleshed out beautifully and we’ve really had that chance to see them grow, change and become either more likeable or even sleazier than we could have imagined. Yes DB fleshes everyone out with the same zeal regardless of who they are. I am sorry but Matt’s attack in the barn with that dialogue yeah I am kind of in love with him right now. He is so the definition of fanboy geek that to see him try and save Reed and his friends well and still having the wherewithal to use that kind of language makes him aces in my book.
Daniel’s work here is quite good. His linework and the way he’s able to manipulate the varying weights to create the attention to detail that we see is impressive. He has grown a lot as an artist and while we still see his signature style it’s tighter, more crisp and clean and looks like a much more solid hand was used on this. I want to see more backgrounds in use however, the barn while on fire and smokey should still have more than a fire coloured inspired background more so since we see it having been shown in more detail already. Also in the office while it’s nice to see her nipple, unfortunately not his penis (hmm) she’s on the floor at his desk that shouldn’t have been white. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a nice eye for storytelling. The colouring here is magnificent. From using the fire as a light source for the shading or highlights to the brightness of the office it all stands out beautifully.
There are twists and turn in this story that are wonderfully used to keep us guessing. There are layers here making the story more complex and intriguing for the reader as well as engaging them to see what is beyond the page. Supposition and second guessing what is going on here just means that we are invested in the story, it’s characters and where it is going next. This was on the cusp of what I wanted on my end of year list because of how solidly the story is built and nice the interiors are. This is one that I urge you find in the New Year and see what I’m fussing on about.