Sunday, March 5, 2017

Darkness Visible #1 Review

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"Darkness Visible" #1 from IDW -

    Earth just isn't what it used to be. Eighty years ago, the Shaitan, demons, came to Earth to live amongst humankind. Some love them - they welcome them into their homes and even their bodies. Why? Because it keeps the host human young, strong and vibrant well beyond their years. And the powers that come along with letting a Shaitan ride your soul aren't bad either. On the other hand, some hate the demons, and this hate has been the cause of strife and violence ever since the Shaitan arrived. Detective Daniel Aston of London is a Cyclops, a special cop that walks the line between humans and demons, tasked with stopping any threat to peace, be the threat human or demon. After a brutal battle with a group of murderous demon raiders, Aston is on his way to the hospital for medical attention, accompanied by his twelve-year-old daughter, Maggie, and Simon Rhak, the powerful demon perp he took down. When the ambulance is attacked, Maggie is severely injured. What will Aston do to save her - to save them both? And how will he take down Nathan Ulescu, Rhak's boss and one of the most dangerous demons on the planet?

    Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David are hitting all the right notes in this supernatural cop thriller, "Darkness Visible." Carey and David jump right into the thick of the story, giving all the needed exposition in one succinct paragraph on the inside cover of the book (which I wish had a bit larger print). We're prepared to enter the world that Carey and David built. Soon we're introduced to the protagonist, Detective Daniel Aston, and his daughter, Maggie. They are just great. He's a loving dad, she's a witty pre-teen, and they are a lot of fun together on the page - their closeness feels very real. He seems to be a great guy, a good cop, and an awesome dad - the life he shares with his daughter looks to be wonderful (although later we find that he is a widower), which gave me the feeling that soon everything would go sideways. And it did. Big-time. David and Carey walk us through a demonic raid with a dapper demon named Nathan Ulescu, who is as witty and charming as he is malevolent and bloodthirsty. I found myself chuckling at some pretty vicious stuff because Ulescu was just so polite with his evil ways. This is pretty much a slick heist story - good guy vs. bad guy; but, when Aston finds himself trapped in the back of an ambulance with his dying daughter and a captured demon, I find myself wondering how much Aston will be willing to blur the line to save his daughter's life. Who will Aston really reveal himself to be? Not only are the protagonists and antagonists very engaging, the story asks the reader this: Are the Shaitan inherently evil, or were they made that way at the harsh hands of humanity? Should they be feared? Are they all bad - or is it the influence of the souls of the people with which they bond (nature vs. nurture)? With the current immigration crisis the First World is facing currently, and all the contention that it is digging up in our hearts and minds, I am very interested to see where David and Cary take this story. Brendan Cahill's pencils are more than competent - his faces are distinct and expressive (and quite beautiful at times), and he does impressive action sequences. I also love the way that the panels are used in this book; there is so much content, but the pages never seem cluttered, nor overly busy. "Darkness Visible" has captured both my attention and my imagination. THUMBS UP!

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

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