Engrossing, Entertaining And Gleefully Gory: Reviewing ‘We Have Demons’ #1 By Snyder And Capullo

by Olly MacNamee

Summary

The conflict between good and evil is about to come to a head when a teenage hero embarks on a journey that unveils a secret society, monsters, and mayhem in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s ‘We Have Demons’ #1

Overall
10/10
10/10

(+++ WARNING: This review contains some spoilers for We Have Demons #1 +++)

We Have Demons #1 is Scott Snyder’s flagship book launching his all-new line of comic books on comiXology Originals from today. And if this comic book is anything to go by, it’s certainly a strong statement of intent from start to finish. A contemporary horror story set in Florida, of all places, following the exploits of Lam Cullen, a young amputee woman following in her father’s footsteps. Those footsteps having led her to his secret double life of a demon slayer. Something she can’t really get her head round. But then, who could?

Snyder is reunited with his brother-from-another-mother, Greg Capullo, who is no slouch when it comes to horror comics and the perfect fit for this book. Both of them, along with inker Jonathan Glapion, colourist Dave McCaig and letterer Tom Napolitano, seem to be having a great deal of fun on this one. And so will you if you chose to pick it up. And that’s because we get Lam as the main narrator of her own story; a bright, ballsy protagonist who has known her fair share of pain from an early age, but that hasn’t coloured her in any way. Through her youthful, but experienced eyes and words we soon learn the basic lore that underpins the universe Snyder has conjured up in this particular series. A starting point that goes back some 100,000 years. So, plenty to extrapolate and play with in future series down the line. First and foremost, the legend of nine – of 5,000 – ancient blades that have been given to nine champions around the world to fight off the darkness that inevitably was born into the universe along with the light. Yin, yang, black and white. You get the idea.

With an epic storyline, you need epic art, and I’m glad to report that Capullo doesn’t disappoint. His artwork is suitably moody in all the right places and, maybe more importantly, Capullo has created an artistically well defined character to match Snyder’s rounded out personality. And by setting it in the warmer environs of Florida, it brings a vibe of the Southern Gothic to proceedings too, which I really liked. The colours also helped create this warmer, but dangerous, atmosphere. Even if a lot of the action takes place indoors. The whole mise-en-scène of We Have Demons #1 is something different from your usual isolated mid-west town that’s used as a backdrop to so much contemporary American horror, and that’s to be commended too.  

By the time the debut issue has worked itself cyclically back to the issue’s starting point- Lam visiting with her neighbours – we’ve learnt a good deal about Lam, her family and the demons that haunt this particular version of Earth. By now we may have worked out the true identity of these seemingly god-fearing neighbours, but it’s still a visual treat to see them in their true forms, dynamically revealed on a splash page. All these years illustrating Spawn certainly come in handy.

It’s a densely rich issue that packs a good deal of storytelling and world-building into this oversized first issue, with equally dense and rich art to compliment the script. And even with all the thrills and spills this issue offers, Snyder still manages to surprise the reader with one last big reveal at the end of the book. An engrossing, entertaining, gleefully gory masterpiece in the making and out now on comiXology Originals.

And for more on this title and others, check out my interview with Scott Snyder here.

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