I’m having a hard time figuring out the point of this comic. Why does it exist? Of course, that leads to wondering why any comics exist, which leads to wondering about all forms of entertainment and art, but, let’s focus on this comic. Why does “The Death-Defying ‘Devil” #2 exist? What does this comic bring to the world that is unique and worthwhile that makes it stand out from all of the other comics on the shelves? Why spend your hard-earned $3.50 on this instead of something else?
You would assume that by reading the comic, the answer would be apparent, but it’s not. Half of this comic is a fight between terrorists wearing random clothes and handkerchiefs over their faces and the ‘Devil, Silver Streak, and a member of the French equivalent of the secret service. Throw in the ‘Devil’s opposite number, the Dragon, for good measure. The other half of the comic details the terrorist organization Claw, has the Dragon brooding over the ‘Devil, Silver Streak pontificating and a set-up for the next issue.
All of this is accomplished with some skill, never rising above or below a certain quality, is moderately entertaining, and shows that some thought has been put into all of this as certain pieces of information will almost certainly take on meaning in future issues. None of it, however, is actually that unique, interesting or engaging. I had to flip through the book to remember what happened beyond that one terrorist who is wearing a pink dress which, coupled with the handkerchief and machine gun, is a rather amusing image.
Ultimately, nothing much happens here. Subplots are advanced a minor (and I mean minor) amount, which wouldn’t be too bad, except they’re not that interesting. The Dragon is obviously convinced that the ‘Devil is not the real deal and we’re meant to agree with him, because the ‘Devil never talks. Thankfully, his silence is only painfully obvious in one scene, but this subplot doesn’t work that well since no new information is revealed — we’re left waiting for the inevitable confrontation and revelation.
Edgar Salazar’s art continues to impress as his action scenes are well done. His poses and angles are dynamic, almost always showing a character in motion, which really conveys the speed and frantic chaos of the events. He even breaks out some old school “speed trail” lines for the Silver Streak, which works pretty well. Even his talking head scenes covey energy as he picks interesting angles, constantly showing things from different perspectives.
Actually, I figured out what this book has that no other comic does: a superhero wielding a boomerang. So, if that is something you’re hankering for, why, you’d be stupid not to pick up “The Death-Defying ‘Devil” #2. As for everyone else, you’ll probably have an enjoyable yet forgettable reading experience.
(Terrorists in all manners of dress and wearing handkerchiefs in CBR’s preview! Handkerchiefs!)