We’ve all had those kinds of neighbors–you know the ones, they’re overly nice in that passive-aggressive way, very churchy, God-fearing types. Seem like maybe they’re harboring some dark secret…well what if they were? And what if that secret turned out to be they were actually demons? That’s just one of the many concepts at the heart of We Have Demons #1.
If this sounds anti-religious, it’s really not, although the opening pages definitely support the argument that those who fear God may themselves be something to fear. That’s just the springboard, however, to a dark yet humorous tale of faith and corruption. Told in a mostly non-linear fashion, we’re dropped in media res to a potential stand-off between two such demons and their would-be dispatcher, the inexperienced demon-hunter Lam Lyle. Through flashbacks, we learn what causes Lam to go from precocious teen girl to a (mostly) self-assured demon slayer, with a few hints of what’s to come. To paraphrase a certain brave Hobbit, it seems to have a little something to do with the end of the world.
The latest effort by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is horrific, action-packed, and disturbing in all the best ways–nearly every page has at least one moment that will make you go, that’s messed up. The creative team puts their best work on the page but never take the material too seriously. Snyder’s script is layered with dark undertones and oddly hilarious narration, contrasting nicely with the stylistic, semi-serious illustrations. Along with frequent collaborator Jonathan Glapion on inks, Capullo brings his signature style, designing horrific demons that look like the inbred cousins of the Violator from “Spawn” (this is not a bad thing). One such panel featuring a trio of profane demon-babies had this reviewer laughing out loud.
At times, We Have Demons feels like a direct continuation of the team’s previous work, almost like it exists between the panels of epic DC stories like Dark Knights Metal and its sequel. Much like those stories, this book has enough worldbuilding to spin off a number of crazy tales. Even our star Lam feels like the spiritual successor of Harper Row, a character the creative team introduced during their epic run on Batman. Daughter of a preacher man, Lam’s upbringing has its fair share of tragedy and enough teen angst to make her frustratingly relatable. Lam’s story serves as a coming-of-age parable, which Snyder deftly weaves within a creation story that balances science and faith in a way that is outlandish, yet respectful to both ideals.