by Brandy DykhuizenResponding to a routine domestic disturbance call, detectives Graves and Fischer are met with a corpse thudding against the sidewalk, and an even more gruesome scene inside. Not wanting to wait for backup, Graves enters the department of Therese DeMeo, as she prattles on about demons and a mysterious force called Novo. While Graves hardly bats an eye at the severed limbs and the bloody axe DeMeo wields in his direction, the mention of Novo seems to hit a nerve, and sticks with him far into the evening.

Back home, pillow talk of Novo creates a domestic disturbance of a different sort, which is cut short by a trip to the hospital to save Graves’ sickly daughter. And here’s where things start to get truly twisted, as Graves steps outside to clear his head and is met by a fly-covered hot blonde apparition named Aeshma, intent on saving his daughter… for a heavy price.

Demonic stokes the fires of the dark subconscious, blurring the lines between the real and the hallucinogenic. Demons pop up to guide their hosts into nefarious tasks, in exchange for reprieve for their loved ones. Are these chaperones real, or the bêtes noires of the disturbed mind, the shadows painted by centuries of God-fearing mythologies?

DeMeo warned, as she swung the axe, that “That thing you fear in the dark at night? It’s always been you.” With a shout-out to Faust, Demonic dives into its pact with the devil, asking us to examine how closely we are intertwined with our latent collective horrors, and how we go about reconciling one evil with another. Existing in the shadows, even the gore is relatively understated, allowing the horror to focus on the unknown and the terror of human potential. If you’re prepared to lock your brain into a long, harrowing conversation about the nastier components of the human condition, this book is for you.  

Image Comics / $2.99

Written by Christopher Sebela

Art by Niko Walter

Colors by Dan Brown

Letters by Sal Cipriano

8 out of 10