Publisher: Devolution Comics
Writer: Ben Trotter
Artist: Marie Duguid
Cover Art: Stan “Saintyak” Yakimov
Release Date: 28th March, 2015
The debut release from fledgling Scottish publisher Devolution Comics, O’Death – from the mind and pencil of Ben Trotter and Marie Duguid respectively – introduces with a bang to our titular killer, one of the Devil’s top ‘debt collectors’ tasked with collecting the multitude of lost souls naively promised to the man downstairs.
While the concept of a ‘hired gun’ collecting overdue souls on behalf of the devil (or that hired gun being portrayed as an aging gunslinger, for that matter) doesn’t necessarily break a lot of new ground, Trotter manages to keep things interesting during the book’s second act, revealing an unexpected conflict that seems poised to serve as the driving force for the rest of the series as it moves forwards. Trotter’s dialogue is sharp throughout, if a little overly melodramatic in places, and the exchange between our killer and his boss (don’t call him ‘Luci’) is truly impressive stuff.
Duguid’s greyscale artwork is solid, even if some of her faces aren’t quite as polished as others, resulting in an occasional lack of consistency with certain characters from panel to panel. Her layouts are far more impressive, however, spurring the story forward with flair and adopting a suitably gothic aesthetic during the issue’s closing pages. The bulk of the book is illustrated in black and white, but Duguid opts to throw in a few splashes of colour along the way for added emphasis, a technique which fits really well with the overall tone of the book.
In summary, this issue serves as an impressive opening chapter for what promises to be an intriguing tale, and while it may be a little rough around the edges in places, the strong narrative laid out here bodes well for the future of this series – and for this exciting new publisher as a whole.
The first issue of O’Death is available from Asylum and Plan 9 in Aberdeen, Kingdom Comics in Kickcaldy, as well as directly from the Devolution Comics Facebook Page, priced just £3 plus postage.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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