Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review - Our Friend Satan

"Show yourself...Satan!"

Ever wonder if Satan tires of the Satan/hell legend? Sure, he's one of the most powerful beings in all of history/literature, but he's also forced to contend with all the baggage that comes with the reputation. Maybe one day he'll just tire of it all and seek to move on, which is what happens in Our Friend Satan. The issue is written by Dominik L. Marzec, penciled/inked by Michael Murawski and colored/inked by Lukas Lalko.

Satan is depressed and suffering from a midlife crisis. He would like to be evil, like in the old days, but he cannot reach the expectations of the modern people anymore. When even Satanists turn their backs on him, he decides to deal with the matter once and for all.

Our Friend Satan is pretty cheerful in many ways, despite its title which might imply otherwise. Marzec has taken the preconceived image of Satan as a fire-breathing, brimstone clad demon and upended it, instead offering a portrayal of him as a tired, old soul who just wants some peace and quiet. He's been the subject of countless attacks on his reputation, prompting him to profess his impatience with the constant questioning of him personally. Marzec's presentation of this is done quite cleverly, as the cult seeking to summon him is even a little underwhelmed when he appears before them. The dialogue and exchanges are also quite snappy, as Marzec adds a bit of levity through the words of confusion offered up by the cult members, as well as Satan's own seemingly despondent take on his lot in life.

Matching the relatively lighthearted story is Murawski's pencils. Murawski puts a lot of detail into his environments, presenting ancient looking temples and a version of hell that's equal parts Bible and Martha Stewart. The portrayal of Satan himself is a point of amusement and helps propel the narrative that Satan is tired of being Satan and dealing with the reputation hits. The inks by Murawski and Lalko offer the artwork a very clean look, as characters sharply cut through their environments and stand out. The color choice is quite vibrant as well, with Lalko relying a darker colors (and a lot of reds) to showcase the action.

Our Friend Satan is a pretty enjoyable story that's also subtly deeper. There are some heady, philosophical themes at play in Our Friend Satan, the most salient of which is the identity crisis that an entity like Satan could go through. Marzec offers this approach to the character by having him take a pretty provocative action, but it's one that makes a lot of sense within the context of the symbol's history and mythology. Murawski and Lalko offer up an artistic style that's clean and straightforward. Our Friend Satan is a lot of fun to read and is worth checking out to get something on the lighter side.

Our Friend Satan is available now. The work has a Kickstarter going to for funding more of its development.


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