Full disclosure: I absolutely love monster stories. And, yes, my unrequited love for them will invariably cause me to give some products – be they books, comics, or films – a highly than usual rating due to the fact that, if they’re done right, I feel they deserved to be discovered by the widest possible audience. Now, this doesn’t mean I’ll give a real stinker a pass just because it’s presenting subject matter I particularly enjoy; I’m not that interesting in selling my critical soul to Satan! But it does mean I’ll be far more inclined to give a work an encouraging nod because there are so very few, very good monster properties in the marketplace these days. So very few …
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Word on the street that, when you’re in New Orleans, werewolves make the rules … but that doesn’t mean everyone is happy about it. In that part of the world wherein the forces of good and bad meet and overlap as they conduct their business, what’s a wolf to do when he’s trapped between doing God’s work while being chased by agents of Satan? Barnabus Black serves ‘the man upstairs’ the way he should, but it’s only so that he can square up his accounts. In the meantime, he’ll stop at nothing less than dropping a piano on some baddies if that means they’ll be suitably off his tail.
KISS ME SATAN is all set-up – it’s an introduction to this world, its characters, and their constantly shifting agendas – but it’s done so brilliantly that I loved most of it from start to finish. Right out from the first frame, it’s clear that this tale has one tongue wagging and another firmly tucked into its cheek. The action begins over coffee in a street café, and it all ends in a car crash and a shoot-out that pits witches and wolves and angels (oh, my!) in a race to make amends before the bodies start piling up. It has a wonderfully hard-boiled feel as well, and that never hurts, especially when you’re dealing with graphic tales.
If anything, I could make a ceremonial gripe about setting these particulars in and around Louisiana, where another established vampire/shifter/faery saga already makes its home; but, as I implied, it would only be a ceremonial gripe. That part of the US has a history rich in otherworldly influences, so I can appreciate one more property hoping to capitalize on the venue.
KISS ME SATAN (Part 1 of 5) is published by Dark Horse Comics. The story is written by Victor Gischler; the art is by Juan Ferreyra; the colors are by the same with some assist from Eduardo Ferreyra; and the lettering is by Nate Piekos of Blambot. It’s billed as the first part of a five-part story – I’m hoping it’ll go longer – and it all comes for the low, low price of $3.99 an issue.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Hip, happening, and (mildly) hilarious, KISS ME SATAN charges out with a terrific first issue. The sky’s the limit on where they could go with this – not all questions are answered but events are clearly set in motion by a tight script peppered with welcome introductions.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics provided me with a digital copy of KISS ME SATAN (Part 1 of 5) by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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