Review - White Devil #1

Being a housewife isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it takes its toll, despite the housewife's actions implying that everything is fine. While most housewives may take up a hobby or join a club of some sorts, some take to the forest to participate in demonic rituals featuring animal sacrifices. Housewives like Judy Harper in White Devil #1.

The first issue is written by Matt Evans and Andrew Helinski and features art by Nate Burns.

Judy Harper is the aforementioned housewife, catering to her family and making sure they are taken care of. After the family is tended to, Judy and a friend Betty venture out into the evening to what those around assume is a book club meeting. Instead, they're going to the forest to take part in cult rituals in an attempt to break the monotony of their lives.

Judy is involved a little more than she would like, prompting her and Betty to take their leave of the creepy shaman heading the ritual. She assumes that she's only leaving a bit of blood behind, but it turns out the blood is an effective catalyst for something far more sinister.

Evans and Helinski have created a fascinating first issue of a series here. Judy is extremely bored and needs an outlet for her restlessness and sometimes crocheting isn't enough. There's one scene at dinner where the reader gets a great sense of how alone Judy feels, despite being surrounded by her family.

For a book about a housewife, Evans and Helinski have managed to really make it interesting. They are very deliberate with her characterization, not wasting any pages yet giving you a very rounded image of Judy's character. Judy's decision to venture into the woods at night juxtaposes the idea of a boring reprieve with a less savory reprieve.

The pacing plays out really well too. It starts off somewhat slow, perhaps inviting the reader to fully understand the mundane life Judy is resolved to. Once she's picked up by Betty, the issue takes a different tone, as the eerie chantings and creepy dialogue really crescendo to this point of being uncomfortable.

While the art is black and white, don't say Burns was lazy. The ar is very well done, with tons of sophisticated hatching done with the black inks. It's readily apparent he spent a lot of time on the panels and really poured a lot of thought into creating images that matched the script. The touch of red at the end for blood was pretty powerful, really making it stand out.

If there's one complaint about the issue, it's the lettering. There's a few different fonts used and just about all of them are too small. Maybe it was the compression of the pages for the digital copy reviewed, but it looks to be intentional because there seems to be some meaning behind using the various fonts. It's a minor gripe for sure, but some panels were greatly hindered by the small font used.

As far as first issues go, White Devil #1 is quite intriguing. The premise is sound and relatively original and the draw for the next issue is really to see if Judy's last encounter with her "book club" is enough to swear her off them. That and whatever evil it is that's now been unleashed upon the world thanks to her blood.

White Devil #1 is available now.