Issue five of The Devilers came out on December 24th and ended on a definite cliff hanger as the team discovers that one of their own isn’t who he says he is.
To make matters worse, his real identity is the Devil himself (that sounds like a good name for a heavy metal group). Unfortunately, this comic went AWOL for four months leaving its readers desperately hanging in the midst. With all the other new series and crossover events occurring I completely forgot about this comic, but was excited to hear about its return.
So browse through your comic boxes, find the previous five issues and recap what’s happened so far because after four months you’re going to need it. So is it good?
The Devilers #6 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Issue 6 wastes no time and immediately dives headfirst into chaotic, bloody brawls between the devilers, the demons, and the devil. With the devil himself beside the team, sides are quickly drawn as it appears to be a three-prong battle. Chun-Bai takes the lead for the team while Malcom uses his power once again while demons lay siege to their former master and devilers alike. With explanation towards the beginning and end and intervals of dialogue in between, the majority of the issue is fighting.
The content packed into this issue makes it necessary to deviate from the comic’s usual plot set-up with the additional backstory included. However, this issue does feature some narration from the perspective of Cardinal Reed who is revealed to have played a major part in the events currently unraveling, or rather spiraling out of control. This chaotic nature of the storyline, while it works to build excitement for the plot, unfortunately transcends the writing and takes form within the panels and not in a good way.
We’re six issues into the series so we know Triano’s artistic style. Unfortunately in an issue which relies on fast-paced action sequences, Triano isn’t able to articulate the scenes as well as we would have hoped. There are a number of two page spreads that look more like Pollock paintings with splashes of red and maroon that require a great deal of time to figure out what exactly is being portrayed. We’ve seen instances of this before in previous issues and it’s easy to ignore with small sample sizes, but with a heavy concentration of these panels it beocmes apparent Triano bit off a little more than he could chew.
With the series winding down, it seems like The Devilers lost a bit of direction somewhere in the middle. There’s another reference to George’s atheist beliefs being an asset to him in this battle, yet they benefit him in no way yet again in this issue. When George first came face to face with the Almighty it appeared that George would assume the limelight of the series, but now it seems to be drifting back to Malcom. Despite this critique, the writing for the issue is very good and has a number of shocking moments. The end of this issue is a great set-up for a finale and might possibly get Fialkov a few letters of hate mail as the last page features Malcom urinating on God and calling him an arsehole. This is definitely something worthy of this week’s Panels in Poor Taste.
Is It Good
The penultimate issue of the series definitely delivers a more than sufficient amount of action that’s to be expected from a comic that had a lot to wrap up. This is the most fast-paced, exciting issue of the series thus far, but the art fails to keep up with the action. Overall it’s still a good issue, and while it could have been great, it still sets the series up for fireworks in its finale.