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"Malek: Reigning Devil #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

article-cover

Written by Jeffrey Haas
Illustrated by Juan Manuel Almiron
Colored by Chris Mcauley
Lettered by Phoebe A. Xavier
2020, 26 Pages

Review:

What do you do after you kill the devil? Malek has slain Lucifer, but that doesn't mean that the evils of Hell go away. Instead, he takes up the mantle as the ruler of the underworld. That does not come without conflict, as he'll have to show each layer of Hell who's boss, quelling any rebellions as they come up if he hopes to maintain order.

Malek: Reigning Devil is a pretty metal comic on the surface, especially with Juan Manuel Almiron's artwork. There are demons, fires, and all sorts of monsters on display as Malek descends through each level with a flaming sword to restore order. Each section focuses on a different deadly sin and the designs for these are rather fitting. For example, lust is shown as a beautiful albeit dangerous woman, while gluttony is a massive demon with a huge gaping maw in its stomach.

Colorist Chris Mcauley drives home the otherworldly nature of Hell with a bright, unnatural palette. This isn't the typical reds and yellows of fire and brimstone. This is way trippier with purples and greens. It's like a blacklight poster come to life.

Some of the artwork can be a little awkward with forms appearing flat or unfinished. The action sequences make up for this though.

The lettering in Malek: Reigning Devil is pretty rough. Phoebe A. Xavier got all the information in there, however, it's too large with a lot of white space in each caption box and word balloon. The fonts are all over the place and become rather distracting while going through the story.

It doesn't help that there's a lot of information to sift through. Writer Jeffrey Haas packs a ton of exposition into this issue, yet it's not quite enough to invest us in Malek's life or his quest for dominance. He's a rather one-dimensional character, ready to hack and slash his way through all who oppose him because...you know, I don't really understand why. Throughout it all, he laments about this mission and quest, but it feels like someone just trying to inflate their own opinion of himself.

Malek: Reigning Devil has some pretty badass concepts, but doesn't come together as a decent story. It is all style and no substance, relying on some fiery visuals without heart. There's some potential if we can get behind the main character, but he's basically a soulless warrior driven only to kill and that only gets you so far.

Grades:

Story: oneandahalfstars Cover
Art: threestars
Overall: 2 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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