Just in time for spooky season, David Pepose and Alex Cormack launch The Devil that Wears My Face with issue 1, a period horror piece dripping with suspense and gore. This is a strong intro issue with a cold open that is nearly guaranteed to grab you and never let you go.
The opening three pages are striking and work exceptionally well, and by the time you get to page three, you’ll be locked in because Alex Cormack knows how to capture a reader. I have to shout out the lettering here because it instantly reminded me of other books that do a similar type of bubble for villains but here, Justin Birch makes the combination of red text with a black bubble work with such a simple tweak that almost made me laugh. He added a border! It complements the work Cormack is doing and just makes the book feel even more striking.
Staying with the opening, the usage of red really escalates and elevates the impact of the pages. It keeps you turning the pages. The compositions are sinfully delicious!
In keeping with David Pepose’s knack for easily pitchable stories, TDTWMF is described as “The Exorcist meets Face/Off,” which makes me sit up and pay attention, however this first issue delivers only that and nothing more. The issue ending cliffhanger is the elevator pitch in comic form and it was disappointing because I already knew that going in and was expecting something more because the pitch got me in. Pepose is a very intentional creator, and these pitches aren’t by accident, so I really wanted to see how he evolved the concept within the comic.
The creative team here is very strong and everything feels so intentional but it misses the mark just slightly. First issues are a delicate dance and damn it, they got so close. I think when all is said and done, this will be a series that does very well in trade paperback but for now, we’re talking about an issue #1. For an issue 1 where the cover price is $4.99, even when it’s an issue as strong as this, I don’t know that it’s worth the price. Especially, in the current landscape of hefty price tags, it’s a hard sell unless you’re really into the premise.