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"We Have Demons" TPB Comic Review

Written by Joel Harley

Published by Dark Horse Comics

article-cover

Originally published as We Have Demons #1 - #6

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Colored by Dave McCaig
Lettered by Tom Napolitano
2022, 112 pages
Trade Paperback released on 1st September 2022

Review:

After her father dies, young Lam Lyle comes to realise that the man had his demons – literally. His name is Gus, a hulking great hellspawn, wrangled into the forces of good using a behaviour-altering 'halo' screwed into his head. Together with Lam's dad, the pair were part of a demon-battling team dedicated to averting the apocalypse. And, with the end nigh-er than ever, Lam is recruited onto this team, armed with a super-powered prosthetic... arm, specially calibrated for killing demons.

This is a typically convoluted setup for Snyder (good luck to anyone still trying to decypher his Dark Knights: Metal), but benefits from not being anchored to a shared universe, or pre-existing characters. At its heart, We Have Demons is an updated Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or busier Hack/Slash. Snyder comes accompanied by frequent Batman collaborator Greg Capullo who, along with inker Jonathan Glapion and colourist Dave McCaig, delivers what might be his career-best work.

Click images to enlarge.

The six issues collected follow Lam as she uncovers her family heritage, unlocking a set of skills unknowingly drummed into her from birth. Snyder nips in and out of various timelines and perspectives, swapping between Gus and Lam as the story progresses. The other members of the team are more interchangable – and less interesting - but Snyder wisely ensures that his leading pair remain in the thick of the action.

And what action it is – We Have Demons comes drenched in gore, both human and demonic. Capullo's demons are suitably horrific, reminiscent of MacFarlane's Spawn and Eurovision demons Lordi. Snyder's set pieces see them pop up in a dull Christian household, and eerie rural landscapes, and even an aeroplane – each battle more gory and brutal than the last. Now this is what dark knights of metal really look like.

Click images to enlarge.

Contributing to the book's metal vibe, Snyder fills his dialogue full of swearing and peurility, most of which is surprisingly integeral to the plot. Lam explains it best, in the book's foreword: "in like the sense that it has actual DEMONS reaching up and pulling people's GUTS out through their BUTTHOLES while ALL around them the earth CRASHES down in white-hot chunks that turn their friends and family and everyone they love into clouds of blood splatter and burnt-hair smell." Even the dialogue bubbles are over the top – letterer Tom Napolitano doing excellent work in creating distinctive voices for humans, various kinds of demon, Gus, and everything in between. We Have Demons is as edgelord as it is exciting, but you can't say that you weren't warned.

To those who already own the book's individual issues, this trade paperback also includes exclusive artwork and draft pages of Snyder's script – a whopping fifty-plus pages of them. An essential collection for fans of heavy metal schlock.

Grades:

Story: threestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer - UK
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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