Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Brian Buccellato
Artist: Toni Infante
Release Date: 24th June, 2015
After an absolutely jaw-dropping opening chapter, Image Comics’ latest psychological horror series Sons of the Devil settles down slightly here and lets the mystery at its heart gradually unfold. This issue sees Travis following up on the search for his birth family following some prompting from his girlfriend Melissa, stumbling even further into the dangerous world of cults and prophecies in the process.
While it may not necessarily have the same shock or wow factor as the first issue, the depth of writer Brian Buccellato’s characterisation on display here bodes extremely well for the future of this series as the layers of conspiracy and intrigue are slowly peeled back. There’s no point having a brilliantly plotted story if we don’t care about the protagonist, after all, and the more we learn about Travis and his mysterious past, the more invested we become in his story.
Toni Infante’s distinctive artwork continues to be perfectly suited for this book, with his scratchy visuals and a keen sense of movement in the more action-packed scenes. While there perhaps isn’t a huge amount of detail to his work, he still manages to convey a tremendous amount of expression in his characters, perfectly illustrating changes in mood and intent with just a slight adjustment of their faces.
While the real ‘meat’ of the story is undoubtedly still to come, the occasional flashbacks to the days of the cult – and our first glance at its charismatic leader – are more than enough to keep our interest piqued in the meantime. Sometimes the drip-feeding of storyline details can be a painstaking, frustrating experience, but Buccellato and Infante keep things fairly well balanced here, giving us just enough of a glimpse behind the curtain to keep us turning the next page.
While the vast majority of horror comics today rely on shock value and disturbing visuals to make their impact, Sons of the Devil takes an unusually grounded look at the darker side of human nature, providing an utterly compelling read, and one of the best comics on the shelves right now.