Whenever I hear about a comic involving a Demon, murder, cops and violence I can’t help but think Spawn, it’s almost a knee jerk reaction. When Top Cow sent me a copy of their new Robert Kirkman penned, Joe Benitez drawn comic Demonic I was apprehensive to say the least. Then I cracked the book open and the good times started to roll! Demonic is a super violent, high paced action comic that is able to weave in a solid story that hooks you by the third page.
The Demonic story centers on Scott, a family man possessed by a demon that appears in the night and drives him to kill. Unable to resist the demon’s will Scott is forced to become a demon himself and kill in order to appease the hellish soul in his brain. The sadistic thing here is that Scott could rid himself of the Demon forever if he kills his wife and baby daughter. Driven to protect them Scott tries to unleash his fury on criminals but that doesn’t always succeed.
The great thing about Demonic is how Kirkman raises the stakes by not only introducing the family element but also allowing Scott to kill innocent people in order to protect that family. The guilt involved with that, the sense of despair adds a layer to the story, which makes it instantly interesting. So often these types of comics rely on several issues of straight action before settling into an actual story Kirkman sets that idea on its head by involving us in Scott’s personal life at the same time he plies us with violent action. I also like that there was no explanation on how the Demon arrived in Scott’s life, no origin story. Kirkman was smart to let that unfold later.
At one point Scott, in his demonic form, does something so reprehensible that alone it would make him a villain. Instead we feel for him, we hate what he’s done but we question if we would have done anything differently. That kind of instant connection with a comic is how legendary titles are launched. Kirkman is a master storyteller and his ability with dialog is second to none. It’s obvious reading Demonic that this could easily fall in alongside Kirkman’s other kick ass titles like Walking Dead and Invincible. Oddly enough Kirkman also pens The Haunt for Image and at the risk of insulting one of my comic inspirations that title is way inferior to Demonic.
Art wise Joe Benitez knocks this one out of the park. Demonic reads more like a movie than a comic book and all of that falls on Benitez’s art. Everything from clothing to hair to capes seems to move in the panels and when put together with other panels Demonic begins to move with a living rhythm. Benitez also seems to understand how to use shadow to achieve depth as well as paying attention to the detail of faces so the emotion displayed on them is very real.
As a first issue goes Demonic does exactly what it needs to, it thrills you and hooks you into wanting to buy issue 2. Kirkman does a great job of introducing this a human drama with supernatural elements as opposed to another Hell-Demon-Blah-Blah title. Don’t get me wrong there is action and gore aplenty but it’s used to tell the story as opposed to being the only facet of it. How the story will pan out and where it will be on issue 100 is anybody’s guess but for now Demonic is a serious title to watch out for.