REVIEW: The Devil You Know #2

Written by Frank Mula
Art by Kellik
Colors by Victoria Pittman
Published by AA88 Press
Release date: January 14, 2015

AA88 Press is a new publisher, so many of you will undoubtable be unaware of their flagship titles, The Devil You Know, but if you’re a fan of fantasy and horror, you may find there’s a lot fo like in this title’s second issue. Here’s a brief introduction to the story:

One late night, Greydon Cross found his family slaughtered and the Devil himself standing before him. Struck down himself before he could have his revenge, Greydon makes a deal with God upon his death. In exchange for power, Greydon agrees to travel to Hell and assassinate the Devil. There is one catch however, once Satan is destroyed Greydon would have to assume the mantle.

The Devil You Know #2 starts off swinging, as Greydon is forced to battle a dragon in his quest to find and destroy the Devil. Instead of killing the dragon, Greydon manages to convince the dragon he will let him live if the dragon takes him away from their current location. The dragon agrees and they fly off, only to find a group of demons escorting some slaves through the desert. The demons are caught off guard by this human’s ability to ride a dragon and a fight ensues with Greydon as the victor. The Devil and his queen gets news of these events and vow to find Greydon and destroy him.

The concept behind The Devil You Know is an interesting one, reminding me quite a bit of Dante’s journey through the various levels of hell, though Greydon is much more knowledgeable and powerful than Dante. Greydon is fueled by rage and often acts recklessly in this issue, but his power is so great that he continuously wins out all his battles. While I loved the well paced action sequences, I’m not sure I entirely buy that Greydon could do so much since he hasn’t had his powers for long. Sure, as the Destroyer, imbued with the power of God himself, he is certainly going to be a formidable opponent for any demon, but I would love to see his character develop slowly over time, giving him the opportunity to learn from his mistakes. As it stands, Greydon is a little too powerful making him less human, and ultimately, less interesting in my eyes.

There are a couple of other characters in this book which have the potential to be rather interesting. Emmy, one of the human slaves Greydon frees from the demons, has a very interesting back story vividly retold in a flashback, and I look forward to learning more about her motivations for helping Greydon, and how their relationship will evolve in the future. Certainly, she is bound to be some type of love interest, and may be an interesting balancing force to Greydon’s gung ho attitude. Overall, writer Frank Mula does a pretty good job with the dialog and pacing, though ultimately the main character is to me, one of the weakest aspects of this book.
Kellik’s art is a good fit for this book, managing to bring Mula’s script to life quite well. The environments aren’t overly detailed but this book being set in hell I wouldn’t expect them to be. Some of the failings in the art department seem to me to come from the colors. While Victoria Pittman does a nice job overall with the book, some of the color choices made some panels a little muddied for my tastes, and didn’t cause the pencils to really pop.

The Devil You Know #2 is a solid effort from a new publisher. The story is interesting and could lead the characters down a very interesting path as long as the pacing is kept on point. I look forward to reading more from Mula and team.

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