The residents of a place called the Winslow House in a poverty-stricken neighborhood are tormented by low life thugs until a costumed vigilante known as Devil shows up to save them. But when things don’t go exactly according to plan for him, the Devil finds himself needing help from the very people he was trying to save. Writer Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Batgirl) and her longtime collaborator artist Walter Geovani (Red Sonya, Vampirella) take crime fighting back to the streets with a relaunch of Dynamite’s The Death-Defying Devil series in a brand new story arc. This is definitely a comic worth checking out.
Gail Simone is no stranger to telling a good superhero story. She’s conquered the likes of Red Sonya, Batgirl, and Plastic Man, and is now setting her sights on Bart Hill. In a short amount of time, she manages to convey the central plot while delivering a fun and engaging read. She also does a fantastic job highlighting some real-world issues that plague low-class neighborhoods like rape, robbery, and assault. This issue gives a great perspective on how our government officials do very little to help out in crime-infested areas.
The first issue offers an old school ’90s action movie vibe, and it works perfectly. It feels like a cross between Charles Bronson’s Death Wish and The Punisher. It’s unique too in the sense that you’re watching a character who can’t rely on using superpowers. He has to use his natural fighting talents plus a strategy to outwit the bad guys. I think that’s what helps keep the story interesting and will make this a great series going forward.
Bart Hill aka The Devil
First brought to life during the golden age of comics way back in the 1940s, the Devil character has gone through several revamps over the years. The origin most people may be familiar with deals with a guy named Bart Hill who takes up crime fighting after the death of his parents. In this newest addition to the Devil’s legacy, wearing spandex never looked so good as we watch the musclebound silent hero take down street gangs with his razor-sharp boomerangs. He’s also probably the only other hero I’ve seen that makes wearing a spiked chain look cool on his outfit since Pantro of the Thundercats.
Geovani is a great visual storyteller. He has incredibly strong line work and his action panels are always unapologetic and in-your-face. He’s also very good with having multiple actions going on in one panel, which is not an easy thing to do. For example, there’s a page where Devil springboards off a fence and dives at some rival gang members. Those are the type of artistic moments that really elevate stories like this to another level.
The Devil Will Return
Overall, The Death-Defying Devil #1 delivers some kick-ass moments along with a good plot. Simone and Geovani continue to bring their ingenious work ethic to yet another great character. The book is a quick but informative read and if you love ’90s action flicks, you’ll love this book. Make sure to grab your copy on digital or at your local comic shop today.