Gail Simone Brings the Death-Defying Devil Back to Street Level

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Death-Defying Devil #1

The last time I saw the Death-Defying Devil in Dynamite Comics, he was a spirit on the level of The Spectre, able to stride down the street while looking over skyscrapers. Quite a leap from his time as Daredevil (yes, that's his real name, much like Shazam's real name is Captain Marvel, and like Captain Marvel he also had the name first), when he fought in the streets and had a band of feistly little kids as his entourage.

Well he doesn't have the entourage, but he's definitely back down to street level in this newest series, DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL, by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani.

The Devil appears when a young couple are walking home in a rough neighborhood, to be confronted by a group of would-be muggers-slash-rapists. They're saved by the Devil's intervention, but the Devil is then put on the defensive when another mysterious fighter appears who easily bests him, beating him to a pulp while the couple huddle in fear inside their group home they share with a handful of other misfit residents.

They take the Devil inside to recover, and we learn they are, somehow, prisoners inside their home, threatened by a mysterious villain named Mr. Donovan, one of those omnipresent kind of guys who runs the gangs as well as the police departments. When the couple puts in a call to  the police earlier to come help the Devil before he's killed, we get this:

Officer: Well, maybe we just got better things to do, litle mamacita. Than risking our lives for dirtly little scofflaws like you. Maybe listen next time Mr. Donovan speaks, all right? Maybe don't be so stubborn, little immigrant bitch.

The residents of the home are a motley crew of misfits, include a dowager actress who's a little less over-the-top than Carol Burnett's Nora Desmond. Most of the characters are likeable, some are not. It's a decent mix. Since the story begins in media res, one of the more interesting characters we meet is a war veteran turned video gamer who lost a hand and, weirdly enough, half a mustache. He helps take care of the Devil as he lays there unconscious, barely alive. But he's in fighting shape when Donovan's boys come calling again, and the gauntlet is thrown for what promises to be a very assymetric confrontation -- with the Devil on the losing end.

Refreshingly tension-filled with insurmountable odds against the hero, DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL is a fun superhero read, and I'll be looking forward to the next issue. I think you should, too.

4.0 / 5.0