The debut of Demonic explores similar themes as other current ongoing series with Image like Kill or Be Killed, Sons Of The Devil and Outcast. Yet in spite of it’s similitude to more high profile creator owned comics; Demonic’s inherent weirdness and classic feel distinguish the series and makes for a compelling reading experience in it’s introduction. Written by Christopher Sebela with art from Niko Walter & colors by Dan Brown, Demonic follows the story of a police officer whose upbringing left him possessed by demonic forces that he has spent his whole life avoiding until the books opening scene. That leads to a series of events forcing the protagonist to consider his past and compromise with the evil supernatural elements that have been following him since childhood.
Demonic works best from Sebela’s character writing which is detailed enough to give the reader all the necessary but also brutally human and touching. Like the writers excellent High Crimes digital series, Demonic is subtle yet effective in making it’s flawed main character endearing and tragic. Sebela’s writing has an air of all around naturalism in the book as a whole that connects it’s mythology, cast and plot together seamlessly. It’s a strong showing from the writer that does everything needed for it’s first issue to feel both compelling as a singular installment and inviting for where the series future takes the reader.
On art, illustrator Niko Walter and colorist Dan Brown have a visual story telling style that feel’s reminiscent of classic pre-code horror comics in it’s line work and composition. Walter’s usage of small box panels to highlight key body movement is especially chilling in how it forces readers to fully realize some of the books more violent details. Walter has a sharp line but it’s used with a certain sparseness of background detail for much of the book (there are some very notable exceptions to this) that gives Demonic a feeling of emptiness and terror. Colorist Dan Brown fills those spaces with dark primary colors while contrasting that with lower shades of orange and yellow. He actually gives the book a Halloween color palette without being totally obvious about it and makes it works almost perfectly with the writing and visual storytelling.
Demonic is a sharp debut that should satisfy horror fans who are seeking the truly frightening. With a strong emotional core, engaging concept and fluent execution; Demonic #1 makes a case as a comic worth considering in it’s debut and shows promise as an ongoing story.