Rating: 4/5 – The Vatican is Burning! (And That’s Just the Start…)
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
I was looking forward to seeing what twist writer Josh Fialkov would put on the Exorcist vs. Demons story and he certainly started off with a bang. By the double page spread on pages 2 & 3 we see Vatican City engulfed in flames and I, for one, was ready to join the cynical Father Malcolm in finding out exactly what was going on.
Malcolm’s story is an interesting one, and his boyhood encounter with a demon certainly didn’t end up the way one would expect it to. In fact, it left me with a very firm sense of “What’s up with that??” and I’m now intrigued to learn more about this character, his abilities, and just what makes him tick; which is always a good feeling to have about the central protagonist in the first issue of a new series.
The art, by Matt Triano, is solid and keeps the story moving. The story flow was clear, but the page layouts were fairly standard rectangular affairs throughout with minimal background detail in many panels which kept me from getting as immersed in the visual environment as it could have done with more of a sense of place that’s evoked by richer background detail. I’d really love to see Fialkov’s script for this issue and see the descriptions behind what I’m seeing drawn on the page.
The star of this issue is Fialkov’s characters, story, and nascent world-building. There’s a lot packed into this issue and I’m intrigued to learn more. We scratch the surface of Father Malcolm and he’s fascinating, but the rest of the team are pretty much names and a few tidbits of background info at this point. We’ll learn more about them as the story progresses, I’m sure. This was a solid first issue and while it raised a lot of questions that are unanswered (so far), it has laid a foundation that’s solid and something that I want to follow along with as the layers are built up. This is part of Dynamite’s new “Creators Unleashed” imprint, and I think it’s off to a great start. Count me in!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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