Devil’s Due/1First Comics 2017
Written & Cover by Dan Schaffer
Illustrated by David Miller
Lettered by Crank!
Young Doctor Freust is a therapist in an asylum of horror where each deranged and diabolical inmate has a paranormal neurosis and a homicidal glint in their eye. Out of her depth, Fruest must discover the techniques pioneered by her father, leader of a secret religious cult, if she has any hope of surviving the madness.
I have to say there’s a reason I love books that come out by “the little guy” and it’s stories like this that serve to reinforce that belief. I mean this has all the hallmarks of a series that will take you to the edge of sanity and make you question everything you believe in. Think I’m joking well then grab a copy of this and check it our for yourself. For me this is the kind of story that I crave, that I look for when perusing the multitude of outlets that have horror movies. To find it here is a blessing and a curse, a blessing because it’s what I want and a curse because it comes out monthly and I have to wait for the next installment.
Evelyn Freust is a young woman with a troubled past who is probably as brilliant as she is troubled. We get a great opportunity to not only see her in action but for Dan to bring us some of the most intense characterisation around. We see not only how she gets to be where she is which by the way is kind of utterly insane but as a reader we get to see the reason for her mental state through all this. By that I mean her relationship with her father, issues of abandonment and how she managed to try and follow in his footsteps nonetheless. It’s a complex route that weaves in and out and all around her in ways that keep you glued to the page as well as leave you wanting to know and learn so much more.
I am totally into the interior artwork here. The sheer amount of attention to detail here is phenomenal! From the characters themselves to how fully conceived the backgrounds are really have this huge impact on me as a reader. Also the sex and violence that is represented here is done in ways that thrill and excite without being gratuitous and that’s a hard line to balance so I’m incredibly impressed by that. The way pages are laid out and how the angles and perspective are used to really are extremely well done.
I do think the way this is structured as Dan navigates the past and present and brings what is possible for the future. It’s not your average storytelling either because it really does blend the whole action and story with characterisation in ways that seem new and fresh and yet natural and long standing at the same time. I haven’t been this taken in by the story in the first issue like I am here in a very long time and it’s rare that we get a book where this kind of connection is made as quickly as it does.
I love Evelyn’s duality that whole I am a therapist and I am here to treat patients versus the reality of her father’s life and legacy which she is now beginning to learn about. That with the added bonus of having a few characters introduced this has already become a MUST READ experience. I will say this though if you are going to have characters running around naked from the waist down there’s no harm in showing the full monty I mean it’s 2017. I say this because it’s kind of how we meet Eric one of the orderlies and if his comments are any indication he’s going to provide that sarcastic humour that I love to see. Then there’s The Nurse who is Evelyn’s assistant whether she likes it or not. Well she’s a piece of work in her own right and how she fits into this, truly fits in not just on the surface, well I can’t wait to find out.
This is where the horror/thriller meets storytelling and can has that air about it to takes it’s place among the classics like Frankenstein or Dracula in its potential.