By Joshua Hale Fialkov, Matt Triano & Mark Roberts
After the group had been called together to help fight an evil that has come to Earth in issue one, the gang found themselves facing something gargantuan and horrifying. That is where the first issue left us and Joshua Fialkov brings readers back to this world, but he simultaneously begins building out his cast. Issue #2 of The Devilers plants some interesting seeds about the individuals of this group, expands a bit on this new world, and continues to bring its readers some truly grotesque incarnations.
Cardinal David Michael Reed brought Father Malcolm and his interviewer, Mr. Lieb, with him to face off the evils of Hell and that is when he introduced them and the readers to the rest of this rather strange gang. In issue #2, the book beings to tell its readers a bit more about the cast. The story opens with a situation that occurred in New York in the early 2000s. Narrated by Rabbi Brenda Davide, we witness a crime about to occur as she explains her initial recognition of changes she was undergoing. This plot thread continues to weave in and out of the main story as the issue progresses. Soon after, the story cuts back to the threat of the underworld.
Fialkov not only focuses in on Brenda Davide in this story, but finds ways to showcases the different personalities of the others as well. As is the case in most unlikely team-ups, there are some conflicting personalities and backgrounds on display here, and it will be interesting to see how these people exist together despite their differences or disagreements. As they descend further into the city, readers learn a bit about what has occurred and some of the rules of this place. Each member of the team has some abilities, though it is not quite clear what the extent or limits of those may be. While Brenda Davide takes on the role of narrator for the issue, the focus still tends to be around Father Malcolm and that is only fueled at the reveal of everyone else’s powers. It would appear Father Malcolm is unaware of his power.
Issue two does a solid job at not only advancing the plot, but also giving readers a bit more to go on. With a very diverse cast and curious combination of individuals, it is nice to see Fialkov handling the differing voices so well. It only takes a few exchanges for readers to get a sense of the temperament of these people and he does so without pausing the progression of the plot. The art in the issue, handled by Matt Triano and Mark Roberts is mostly decent. Triano and Roberts have a good handle on the physicality of each character, a very helpful aspect of any new series in being able to identify any character from another. There are also a number of very gruesome or grotesque images that are effective. Some of the visualizations in this Hellscape are too noisy or muddied and the high saturation of colors, especially reds, makes them challenging. In seeing cuts to moments outside of this setting, it is partially a problem with the number of similar colors in a singular space in that setting. Added in to some thick inks and heavy shadows and the art is, at times, distracting. On the whole, the book still continues to be well done and issue two’s pacing and progression, as well as its cliff-hanger ending raise the bar for what is to come.