'We Have Demons' is All Devil Horns and Middle Fingers and It's Glorious
We review Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's metal AF horror comic and get pumped for our digital future.
Some comics you have to read in bed. The alarm hasn't even blared yet. The sun is still down. Is it morning, or is this night? Your mouth is stinky and in desperate need of a toothbrush. But you can't wait to meet We Have Demons #1 when you're showered and washed. You gotta devour it before the day steals your time.
The comic is the first of eight titles dropping from writer Scott Snyder. It's part of his Best Jackett Press Comixology Originals deal, which comes at this weird time as the digital platform gets consumed and fully integrated into its Amazon storefront. But never mind that bit of worry, let's just revel in an artist let off the chain, running madly through multiple genres and screaming glee at every turn.
As the beginning of something new, there's an extra level of burden placed atop We Have Demons. I'm sure I was not the only one up at the crack of dawn, itching to jam this new collaboration with Greg Capullo into my eyeballs. Such anticipation can be deadly. These two schoolboys have been making heavy metal fantasies for a decade now, plunging Batman and his Justice League cohorts into landscapes usually airbrushed onto vans forever stuck in the nineteen seventies. Now, they're free from corporate masters, and they better damn deliver on that unleashed imagination.
Well, We Have Demons is as wild as the hell on Earth it suggests. The comic opens with "a warning for the squeamish." Within these pages, you will find demons and guts torn from buttholes. But that isn't what should concern the reader. You bought this comic for such shenanigans, and if it stops with only guts coming out of buttholes, then you'll be disappointed. You want those guts coming out of every orifice! So, the word of warning regards faith and its persistence despite the cosmos throwing every nightmare it can muster toward you and this story's hero. Is there room for hope in the apocalypse?
Snyder is constructing another massive mythology. One that involves Creation with a capital C, and the epic battle between good and evil that fuels most stories of this ilk. At the center is Lam, a young woman who had her armed chopped off by her father when she was a little girl, a necessity after a rattler filled her limb with necrotizing venom. Pa was a pastor who made a motto of giving the middle finger to evil. He stirred hearts from the pulpit, but it's what's in the church basement that you'll be most excited to meet. No spoilers, folks.
There are a lot of words in We Have Demons. Snyder's pen has rarely been this purple, clearly delighting in the wickedness he's stewing. But those thick blocks of text never get in Capullo's way, and the comic is constructed to give the wild man illustrating this glorious insanity plenty of space. As the plot is established in the first few pages, it's pushed to the far left, and Capullo stacks one righteous frame atop the other. He's erecting a universe, igniting his own Big Bang.
When the world-building reaches its apex, catching up to Lam's present where her adolescence finally flees, and a most terrible adulthood arrives, Capullo unveils those behemoths that scar the cover. These beasties are what every writer wants to give Capullo. He's spent nearly a lifetime perfecting such repulsive critters, and they do not disappoint in this first issue's last third. They are cracked flesh, splintering bone, and blissfully smiley. They need killing, and Lam provides...with a little help from another. Ah, again, no spoilers - promise. I just love [Redacted] so!
We Have Demons #1 is a smash. Snyder and Capullo are pulling everything they loved from horror comics and horror movies and superhero stories and action extravaganzas and squishing it all together. It's the best Tales from the Crypt covers jammed inside the nastiest VHS box art and filtered through a child's hallucination of what heroism looks like based on those covers. It's silly but serious as a heart attack. It's a big swing made by the industry's heaviest hitters. They're calling their shot, and I believe they'll knock it out.
Quickie Review: We Have Demons #1 is everything fans of Snyder and Capullo want it to be. The comic is absolutely mental, establishing an extreme universe that's barely revealed the psychotic depths awaiting our protagonist. Writer and artist feel unrestrained, let loose to go as big and as diabolical as their minds can conceptualize. More, please. Now. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to get out of this bed. 10/10
We Have Demons #1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
On Sale: Now!
Synopsis: The conflict between good and evil is about to come to a head when a teenage hero embarks on a journey that unveils a secret society, monsters, and mayhem.
The first creator owned collaboration from the superstar team of writer SCOTT SNYDER and artist GREG CAPULLO! After block-buster work on titles like DC's Batman, this best-selling team brings their talents to comiXology!
Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content only available on comiXology and Kindle. Read for free as part of your subscription to comiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. Also available for purchase via comiXology, Kindle and in print via Dark Horse Books.