Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Colorists: Sofie Dodgson & Shayne Hannah Cui
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Release Date: October 26, 2022
Reviewer: Lukke Sweet
Magic comes at a cost, and it might just kill you. Damn Them All #1 by Simon Spurrier takes a look at the intersection of organized crime and the occult; all through the eyes of Ellie Hawthorne, professional magician. Introduced to the supernatural by her uncle, the bulk of the story takes place following his death. Starting at his funeral and moving to the wake, readers are introduced to demons, the mafia, and a detective from New Orleans. Who or what managed to summon a major league demon, and why would they crash a wake?
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Right off the bat, Damn Them All #1 shows itself to be a wordy comic. Filled with speech bubbles and the inner thoughts of Ellie, it’s a little intimidating compared to many books on the shelf. But it works. Like all new works, there is a steep learning curve to get readers up to speed on the rules of the world the story is set within. Spurrier lays this all out in the first four pages through Ellie’s first true encounter with the supernatural. He then uses familiar settings and archetypes to dive deeper into what makes this story special before completely turning the established rules on their head and breaking them all.
The art of Damn Them All #1 fits the story perfectly. Artist Charlie Adlard has taken the world created by Spurrier and given it life. The linework of the story evokes a feeling of gritty realism, despite the supernatural nature of the story. Moreover, when magic takes place, Adlard switches to an otherworldly style that’s hard to look at, like the reader should be wearing a set of 3D glasses to make sense of it. This is absolutely brilliant, reflecting the words of Spurrier, that the demonic presence could break the viewer’s mind.
The colors, mainly by Sofie Dodgson with assistance from Shayne Hannah Cui, work to emphasize Adlard’s style. Throughout the story, the muted color palette continuously reminds the reader of the dreary world surrounding the characters. This isn’t the whole picture (no pun intended) however, as Dodgson & Cui choose moments of vivid brightness to emphasize key story points, such as a death, and to contrast the alien nature of the demons with the world of humanity.
Damn Them All #1 is a slow read, but worth seeing through to the end. With a thoroughly entertaining lead character and interesting look at the occult, this is a story definitely worth investing in.