By Victor Gischler, Juan Ferreyra, & Eduardo Ferreyra
At first glance, the premise of the new mini-series Kiss Me, Satan seems awfully familiar to a number of other books, most notably Criminal Macabre, also from Dark Horse Comics. However, this new book already seems to put those other titles to shame with its initial foray. KMS is about werewolves, vampires, witches, and other spooks inhabiting the real, modern world. Simply put, Barnabus Black slays these bad muthas, seemingly at the direction of a small, cigar smoking, gangster-clad angel of Heaven named Jules. As already mentioned, the overall concept immediately seems to lack originality as it feels so similar to many other comic books. It’s the character details, like the quirks of Jules, the incredible story pacing and delivery, and phenomenal artwork that seal the “must read” stamp of approval on Kiss Me, Satan #1.
First off, this issue was very fast-paced. Oftentimes, this can lead to a vague delivery of plot or a relatively shallow story, particularly when done in the context of a mini-series. However, Victory Gischler has masterfully crafted the initial installment of this bloody tale, not neglecting the story, while at the same time presenting it in a way that requires relatively little direct exposition. When considering the fact that this is a first issue, there is already a lot of mythos being built up in the background of the plot. This subtle world-building is executed in a way that feels like the reader is carried along the waves of story by observing cleverly scripted character actions and interactions. Furthermore, the well-crafted character personalities provide not only additional interesting material, but often help to convey a light-hearted, humorous tone to an otherwise grim, gritty tale of blood and magic.
Aside from contributing to other fantastic works like Rex Mundi, Juan Ferreyra has more recently become a huge fan favorite with his work on Colder. He always provides an incredibly well-realized attention to detail, while his shadowing and character-style feels not only unique, but powerfully vibrant, even when illustrating scenarios which are much darker both in terms of tone and appearance. Everything this guy draws is full of life which makes anything he works on that much more fun to read. The action sequences are dynamic, and the reader really feels drawn into the whole book with the aid of such deeply-crafted visuals. Fellow Ferreyra, Eduardo, is along for the ride this time, and the additional colors have never looked so grand. This book may even trump Colder in this regard, with such a beautiful “painted” look, while simultaneously looking so crisp and real.
To be completely frank, the only thing holding issue #1 back is the relatively lacking originality in the overall concept of the book. Admittedly, this type of story and setting has been done many times before. However, KMS already feels like it is among the best in the genre. The story, while not entirely unique, is shaping up to be quite interesting, the first installment was masterfully paced and scripted, and the artwork is phenomenal. If you enjoy action or horror with a bit of humor, do yourself a favor and give this one a chance.