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‘We Have Demons’ (review)

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Published by ComiXology Originals/
Dark Horse Comics

 

There are certain things that can be expected from a book titled We Have Demons.

Especially written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Greg Capullo. There is the detailed plots that Snyder has built into stories like Court of Owls and Metal. There is the scares and oddities that are inherent to Capullo’s work. What I did not expect is a wicked sense of humor. I always felt like the Batman Who Laughs was an attempt at dark humor that never quite landed.

In We Have Demons, the humor lands.

Our way into this world of demons and angels is Lam Lyle.

Much like Buffy and other “Chosen Ones”, she is denial of her destiny.

Her father is a pastor, but is leading a secret life. A life that he keeps from his daughter, creating a distance between them. Unreconciled before he passes away, Lam returns for his funeral.

But this return leads to a revelation of family secrets.

What Lam didn’t know is that the family business is being part of a long running war. On one side you have Angel like beings powered by fragments that have landed on Earth called Halo.

On the other side you have demons powered by The Horn. It sounds almost silly, but Snyder manages to play it serious. Not so serious that it comes off as ponderous. The whole enterprise has just enough humor without falling under its own weight.

Lam’s discovery of her Dad’s secret leads her to a newfound alliance.

From this alliance, Gus is the member we get to see the most. Her father’s partner and now Lam’s partner. Gus is a figure of tragedy. Yet he carries a gruff, endearing side. Together with the rest of Halo, they attempt to complete her father’s last mission. But there is more than meets the eye, leading to betrayals and a giant bloody battle.

Scott Snyder manages to interlace intricate plot building with moments of humor and grace.

The sadness of losing a loved one that you never reconciled with, the humor in discovering a new family, it’s all there. The opening issue where Lam sets up their story while confronting demons, in which the reader is unsure if they are actually demons, is both suspenseful and humorous. When we get to see the demons in all their glory, they are just bigger, angrier, more murderous Gremlins. Snyder manages to balance a wicked sense of humor with an apocalyptic battle.

Capullo’s art goes all out here. I get the feeling that Snyder writes a script, and tells Capullo that for the next few pages, just cook something up. Together, they pull it off. The climactic action is exciting, but there is a scene involving an airplane that features the monsters that may top it.  Capullo’s style, full of flourishes and bombast, really works in this tale.

We Have Demons is not necessarily for the squeamish. If you like high action, comedy in the form of foul mouth demons, and scares, this book is for you.

 

 

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