Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review - The Eighth Seal #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"I have more stooories to tell you!"

Being the President of the United States is no easy gig, yet lots of people want to do it. Being married to POTUS has its own challenges, none of which are made any easier when you're hallucinating demons eating those all around you. IDW Publishing likes that story and is telling it in The Eighth Seal #1. The issue is written by James Tynion IV, penciled/inked by Jeremy Rock, colored by Nolan Woodard and lettered by Troy Peteri.

One woman’s visceral nightmares bleed into reality as she struggles to live in the political spotlight. Is she losing her mind, or do these visions hold some darker truth?

Hallucinations as a mechanism of terror are nothing new, but Tynion adds in his own twist by making the one suffering from the affliction a person of pretty high importance. Her role is that of the First Lady and Tynion really plays up the ramifications of someone as important as her suffering from horrible visions of violent death. Tynion makes those visions the primary thrust of the tale, but peppering in the First Lady being forced to contend with them in her position is a pretty unique twist. There's a political spin to her "ailments" that makes the story even more intriguing as the characters don't fully understand what she's going through. The build-up to the ending is pretty evenly paced and Tynion doesn't really rush anything.

Rock's illustrations are clean. The panels where the demon appears look terrifying, as Rock has it appear as an extension of the First Lady herself. His style otherwise though feels a little doll-like, in that most of the characters look like dolls who are posed for scenes. There's a plasticity to many of the characters that gives the images more of a static feel than anything else. The reliance on black gutters does make the characters stand out stronger against the sparsely illustrated backgrounds. Woodard's colors draw mainly upon greenish hues throughout.

The Eighth Seal #1 is a new take on the demon possession tale with a pretty fascinating twist. The ultimate end-game of the series remains to be seen, but as it stands now Tynion is content to rely on the First Lady's position as an X-factor in regards to her visions. Tynion's script is straightforward and builds to a crescendo methodically. Rock's illustrations are clean and don't really feel all that dynamic, but the arrival of the demon is illustrated with terrifying effect. The Eighth Seal #1 is an intriguing first issue that promises to change the reader's perception of what spin really means when it comes to the First Family.

The Eighth Seal #1 is in stores now.


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