Preview review – Seventh Dimension of the Devil #1

Told by her Dad that she’s the last, best hope in a battle between God and the Devil, 11-year-old Julie freaks. Understandably. But running away from a prophecy isn’t a luxury she has, as the forces of evil come calling close to home. She’s forced to do some growing up and soon she’s taking on the Devil – but when it seems the battle is won, the Devil claims that Julie’s mission isn’t quite what she’s been led to believe …

Of course, would you believe an infernal demon with no one there to contradict him? I suspect that Julie’s answer is a big part of issue #2. Before that, this debut from Blue Eye Comics has intriguing aspects of its own – who wrote the book Julie’s father possesses, telling of seven Earths which are the subject of a bet between God and Devil? What are the powers which allow her to take on a fallen angel? And what will happen when her mother – supposedly off gathering help for Julie – shows up?

They’re good questions, ones which should intrigue the Young Adult readers at which this comic is, presumably, aimed. Before we get to the action there’s an unashamed infodump, and while I prefer the overarching story elements to be revealed naturally as we move along, in the end it’s simply a matter of taste … lots of people like to know what they’re in for as quickly as possible. The set-up of Chosen One vs Ultimate Bad Guy, mentors and prophecies, has been done to death, but that’s because these themes resonate; and besides, I read about a dozen superhero comics per week so it’d be rich to whinge about genre cliches.  

Julie’s a bit of a cypher this issue, her primary role being to react to the scary future she’s told faces her; by the close of this chapter, though, she’s embracing her role, and has gone through changes which should allow her to become the big player she’s predicted to be. The Devil, unfortunately, is simply annoying, far too self-conscious in his dialogue (‘Call me Lou’)  – let’s hope he settle down speedily.

When it’s not laying out backstory, Lee Kolinsky’s script has its moments. This one is among my favourites (click on image to enlarge).

And I like that Kolinsky has a Big Picture he’s working with – now he’s got the set-up out of the way, and main players in place, there’s room to go wild.

Arifin Samsul’s illustrations serve the script well. There are weak spots (compositions that chop off character heads in consecutive panels; facial expressions that try for ‘intense’ but achieve ‘mad; sound effects that don’t quite work), but overall he hits the right beats. The action sequences are strong, the backgrounds pretty great and his colour work excellent. The word balloons need to be better thought out, mind – some are far too big for the amount of dialogue, others have a sinister edge where I can’t imagine one is desired. Hopefully Kolinsky and Samsul’s collaboration will last long enough for wrinkles to be ironed out and creative synergies to emerge.

If you enjoy fantasy fiction in which a kid has to step up and fight forces they can barely understand, you might give Seventh Dimension of the Devil a try when it appears on 1 October.

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