The idea of cults have captured the imagination of readers since the heady days of the sixties when Charlie Manson and his family wandered out into the sands of Death Valley, grooving’ to Helter Skelter and dropping acid; It would be the bloody path of destruction that culminated in the murder of a pregnant Sharon Tate that the idea of a murderous cult was solidified in the nightmares of regular Americans. It would inspire fear and copycats across the country, leading to satanic cult hysteria in the 1980’s.
Son of the Devil takes that idea of a satanic cult and turns it on its ear. Travis Crowe is just a regular guy, I guess as regular as anyone can be that is adopted, only to be found by his sister twenty five years later and told that his biological father was the head of a Satanic death cult and Travis is one of eight children this maniac sired; one of eight that need to be sacrificed in a crazed ritual to bring his nut-job father closer to the devil.
This story is built on lies and intrigue. The minute you think you have a good grasp on any one character they say or do something that throws the entire series back into question. Between flashbacks of the original cult in the late 80’s to the current day web of deceit and murder that Travis is trying to navigate, you’re left wondering if there is any hope left for this young man.
Buccellato’s script moves at a full sprint at the end of the volume, leaving you gasping to catch up. By the end of the trade you are left dangling off a cliffhanger and glad for the thrill. It’s this kind of buildup that has made shows like True Detective and Secrets and Lies so popular and successful.
Infante’s artwork is the perfect match for this down and dirty thriller. There are moments when the expressions tell you more than the narrative lets one, and Infante never misses a chance to creep the reader out by finding haunting new ways to focus on the one red eye that Travis was born with, a trait that is shared by his maniacal father. The red eye is ever looming, ever watching, just like the danger that surrounds this character; it’s ever present, waiting to spring out and grab you.
Final Thoughts: The fascination with cults is alive and well in this offering from Image. The plot hauls ass and so does the action by the end of the volume. You may not walk away with all of the answers you want, but the answers you get more than satisfy.
Final Grade: 4 stars
Sons of the Devil- Book Two TP
Story: Brian Buccellato
Art: Toni Infante
Colors: Jennifer Young
Letters: A Larger World Studios and Troy Peteri
Publisher: Image Comics
Collects Issues: 6-10