Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Fran Galan
Colorist: El Torres
Release Date: 4th August 2021
Stanley is a loser. His girlfriend of three years is cheating on him, and not doing much of a job of hiding it. His co-workers treat him like an errand boy, and don’t even bother to hide their contempt for him. His entire life is just one truly bad day away from ending it all. That is however until Stanley becomes the chosen meat puppet of the demon Zedirel, fresh out of hell and looking to party like a co-ed at Spring Break. When Stanley manages to get a cut-price, backstreet exorcism he finds that he is bereft of the demon but fully imbued with his infernal powers. This time however Stanley is in control of these powers and his own life, so he’s absolutely going to get revenge – and maybe create a small cult while he’s at it.
Lucky Devil is a lot of fun, and so completely not what I was expecting. Stanley is a character who I think everyone can identify with in some way. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all felt like he does at least once in our lives, whether it’s feeling powerless as your partner cheats on you, or being made to feel worthless at work, or to feel like the whole world is against you… at some point, unless you’re incredibly lucky, you will have felt like this. And while we’re being honest with each other, we’ve all dreamed of what we’d do if we had the power to exact revenge on these people, if we had the ability to stand up and be the one in control. I’m going to guess that a few of you/us have come up with some fairly elaborate and inventive forms of revenge in our heads at times, it’s only natural after all. But what would you do if you actually had limitless power and a list of grievances as long as your arm?
As unreliable narrators go, I like Stanley, he reminds me a lot of Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club, or James McAvoy in Wanted, but when he’s possessed by Zed, he’s all Skinner Sweet (American Vampire). All the characters we meet are really well delivered, too. You’re going to absolutely hate most of them, and you’re supposed to, but they’re all characters that we’ve met at some point in our lives.
As you’ve probably guessed from other reviews of his titles, I’m a bit hot and cold about Cullen Bunn as a writer, but this is just out and out fun. It’s brutal, has a wickedly dark sense of humour and it reads like everyone involved was having a great time creating it.
Speaking of which, Fran Galán’s artwork really makes Bunn’s story jump off the page. Stanley’s normal every day life is delivered in such a way as to make you cringe, and feel angry at and for Stanley. Zed’s normal every day life, however, is painted in nightmares of scarlet and gristle and globs of tortured flesh and it’s just glorious.
This is completely not what I expected to be reading, it’s not what I expected from Cullen Bunn, and it’s 100% something that you’re going to have a blast reading.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek