I came into this comic with absolutely no expectations. I read the title of the book, saw that it was by Dark Horse, and felt it was worth a shot. Before I get any further with this review let me tell you right now that it was a gamble that paid off.
Werewolves, witches, vampires, demons, and angels, mixed in with a little bit of baby drama. No, this isn’t another Stephanie Meyer novel. This is Kiss Me, Satan!, Dark Horse's latest limited series written by Victor Gischler (Deadpool Corps, X-Men) with art by Juan Ferreyra (Colder).
The story starts off with our narrator, and presumed hero, Barnabus Black, informing readers that New Orleans is currently being run by werewolves. Before he can explain much more, he is attacked by demons who want to bring him back down to Hell. After escaping, he is given orders by an angel about a new job. Although reluctant, Black has no other choice but to accept. The book then skips to the leader of the werewolf pack, Cassian Steel, and his pregnant wife. A witch reveals that their yet to be born son does not have the mark of werewolf which means there's no viable successor for Steel. Determined to maintain his legacy and control of the pack, Steel sets out to silence any and all people who know his secret.
This is a must read for any fans of horror, supernatural myths and legends, or even the CW show Supernatural! As a first issue, it does an excellent job of setting the stage for things to come. Gischler has writen a sound script that reveals just enough to keep you wanting more by the time you finish. Ferreyra's art, while not groundbreaking, is pleasant to the eye and enjoyable. He shows glimpses of being able to express incredible detail in some of his panels, including a particularly creepy close up of Verona the witch's eyes. Ferreyra also has a very efficient layout, utilizing multiple panels on each page to advance the story.
How Black and Steel continue to develop throughout Kiss Me, Satan! will definitely be a highlight. Gischler provides a brief insight into Black’s past; an angel who left Heaven with Lucifer and is now longing to go back. His dialogue and narrative is rife with cynicism and scepticism. He can’t trust the demons wanting to drag him back to Hell, and he can’t trust the angels to return him to Heaven.
Alternatively, Steel’s character is the epitome of someone doing everything they can to protect their family. His devastation when hearing the news from the witch is portrayed excellently by Ferreyra. While his motivations seem to be a combination of pride and family, Gischler wastes no time showing us that rage is Steel’s strongest emotion and the ultimate answer to his problems. I highly anticipate these characters meeting face to face.
Where the comic lost points in my eyes was the switch from Black’s story to Steel’s. Just as Black’s character was being developed, we get dragged away into a different scene featuring a different character. The transition from Black’s narrative to Steel’s story felt abrupt, especially as majority of the comic focused on Steel. After introducing Black and then switching to Steel, I kept wondering if Black was a major character at all. Although the story eventually came full circle, it was still an abrupt and awkward change and stands out as a blemish in an otherwise well paced book.
What's the story behind Black's trinket? Why do the angels want Black to interfere with werewolf and witch matters? How involved are the vampires? With so many questions left unanswered, it’s a shame this is only a limited series. Although it’s only one issue in, I’m going to jump the gun and say that this has the drawing power and potential to be an ongoing title. Even if Dark Horse doesn't promote it to an ongoing series, I’m still going to hop on board and enjoy the ride!