Writer: Brian Buccellato / Artist: Toni Infante / Image Comics
Son, I won’t even mince words with this – Sons of the Devil is dope. “How dope,” you ask? Dope enough that I want to watch the mini-movie based on the story but refuse to because I don’t want it spoiled. Dope enough that I’m writing this review starting from issue #3 because I didn’t learn it was dope until too late but still had to review it. Dope enough that you should read it. Really, it’s true.
Let’s cover some backstory since we’re missing a review of the first two issues. Our protagonist is Travis — a character who, despite his obvious temper and emotional baggage, is quickly admirable to readers and shown to have a good heart from his first appearance when he risked his job to help a lost kid find his way home. The conflict faces Travis against a cult that has been interwoven in his turbulent life that has seen orphanage, abandonment, and death. Readers see Travis fall into rage in several cases, and the scenes are jarring due partly to the suddenness of his aggression, but also as a testimony to Infante’s art that captures the intensity of each moment. The tone of this book’s artwork is one of its biggest strengths but it can almost be unnoticeable in its subtle manipulation of your emotions.
Issue #3 picks up with Travis in group counseling and unaware of just how close the cult is to him and his girlfriend, who is another character whose endearment makes readers like Travis all the more. If she cares about him, you care for him, and the threat of danger to Melissa as the unknowing casualty will steadily loom over every one of her scenes whether we like it or not. The issue also introduces a new character, along with the earliest shades of doubt in their relationship, aside from that regular fear of looming danger. We’ve already met the villain, and Lord, he is terrifying.
Ifante’s sketchy art is glorious and does wonders with both pacing and setting a tone not dissimilar to True Detective. Season 1, that is. Now that I think about it, maybe the reason I like this series so much is that it’s the Season 2 I always wanted before things went traumatically and hilariously downhill.
Pick up this book. Join the ride and see where this cult-inspired mystery leads. It has a complex lead, a great hook, and an interesting story foundation that makes you as terrified of cults as you are interested in how they work. I came late, but as the old adage says — better late than never.