The story in We Have Demons #1 starts out quietly with Lam Lyle, a young girl, visiting her neighbors. But just when we think something terrible is about to happen, the story launches into a narrative that spans eons, time, space, and religion, going further and further back in time before getting to the crux of the tale––that of the oldest battle in history, of good versus evil, is about to flare up once more, and that young Lam is about to be hurled into it as a champion of light to battle back the ultimate forces of darkness.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are probably best known for their longtime collaboration on Batman, most notably for the creation of the Court of Owls and storylines such as ‘Death of the Family’ and ‘Zero Year’. Now, while I’m not a fan of Snyder’s recent Nocterra (you can read my review of that one here), We Have Demons feels, even in just its first issue, like a more cohesive and very well-developed world. The majority of this first double-sized issue is exposition, but Snyder’s expert artistry with language and characterization makes the words flow and beautifully blend in with Capullo’s illustrations.
By the close of the issue, we are left with a sense of anticipation and excitement that I personally haven’t felt for action or horror comics in a long while, and this is a testament to Snyder’s mission of taking chances, for no other publisher might allow so much in-depth background in a single issue, let alone the first issue, fearing the prospect of losing the reader. In fact, the real action of the story doesn’t even get started until five pages from the end. This is quite gutsy storytelling that for all intents and purposes probably shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it’s refreshing and only adds another layer of excellence to We Have Demons #1.
Something else of note is that as I was paging through the issue, I was gifted with a lovely little feeling as a reader. Every time I thought to myself oh, man! This is the end of this issue, I turned the page and was overjoyed––seriously and genuinely overjoyed––that it wasn’t; that the story went on for another page, and another after that. This happened at least twice, and by the time I did reach the final page of We Have Demons #1, it felt thoroughly complete while still leaving lots of room for anticipation of the next issue.
Snyder and Capullo have given us something (ironically) heavenly in We Have Demons #1, and this is a series to get hooked on. We can certainly have full faith that BJP will not let us down, and will deliver a consistently fun, exciting, and evolving story.
Scott Snyder (W), Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion (A), Dave McCaig (C), Tom Napolitano (L) • Dark Horse Comics, $3.99
Review by John T. Trigonis