Writer: Ben Trotter
Artist: Marie Duguid
Publisher: Devolution Comics, Aberdeen
I like indie comics.
There’s a certain raw vibe you get from comics put together on the blood, tears and sweat of the people working on it; something that you really don’t get in a lot of the mass-market stuff published by the likes of Marvel and DC. But fortunately, there’s plenty of raw here.
In Devolution’s rip-roaring rampage of reaping, we meet James: former gunslinger and now indentured tallyman to Beelzebub himself. Jim is tasked with reaping the souls that were sold to the devil, be they in return for fame, riches or whatever. Clearly disenchanted with his lot in (after) life, Jim reluctantly gathers souls for Lucifer with the promise of one day being free. Clearly the devil has a hold over Jim, but as to what and who it is, we aren’t told. Only that there is a balance that must be swayed in Jim’s favour before his service can end.
Greatly aided by its very limited colour palate (mainly monochrome with a small dash of green and red), Duguid’s artwork is the real star here. Like films such as Schindler’s List and A Matter of Life and Death, the black and white is used to illustrate a world devoid of colour and life. If there’s a flaw here, it’s that Trotter’s script is a bit lacking in substance; although given that this is only number 1 of a series that’s likely to be rectified as the world is further explored. It’s a small niggle and the only thing that stops this getting the full five nerds.
Bring on part 2.
4 out of 5 nerds