“Spiritual Warfare” (Man vs. Demon, Demon vs. Angel, etc.) is almost plentiful enough to be its own genre. The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis) tackles it from a psychological aspect, Good Omens and American Gods (Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett) both explore the idea of a covert battle in a comedic light, Preacher (Garth Ennis) approaches it from all angles, (and is perfect, everyone read it right now). Dogma (Kevin Smith), This Present Darkness (Frank Peretti), and Hellboy (Mike Mignola) all bring something unique to the table.
The Devilers is a sufficient first installment of a supernatural action series. It doesn’t break the mold or drop jaws, but it does introduce a wonderfully diverse team with a unique set of abilities, which is promising.
Father Malcolm is a skeptical, hot-shot, priest, or at least I think he’s suppose to be. The idea of a “cool” priest is a hard-sell. Not impossible to do, but rarely does it come off as a convincing. Anyways, the story kicks-off with the Father, at a bar, exploring skepticism with a member of his congregation. After a smarmy discussion on divine intervention, he reveals that his true faith comes from having a physical encounter with a demon when he was a child. Soon after revealing this fact, a Cardinal bursts into the bar and whisks the two away to a more urgent hell-related matter.
For a first installment, there’s a lot of action. If this were pitched as a horror series, I think it missed its mark, but it’s fun. There’s a friendly bear-demon named Rex, a frog that flips the bird, and a rabbi that’s a trained Mossad agent.
Visually, the book is inoffensive. Matt Triano has his moments, but in general the art isn’t anything to write home about. The most notable thing about his art is his creature designs. We get to see a handful of his demonic beings, and they’re all wonderfully creepy.
If you’re looking for something new to add to your pull-list, and have patience to let the series develop, The Devilers is something you might want to check out. Joshua Hale Fialkov wrote The Bunker, so I trust his storytelling, but it may take some time.
If you’re just looking to consume a comic about a crushing demons with immediate gratification, then just read Preacher.