Devil's Highway #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 30, 2020

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Brent Schoonover
Colours: Nick Filardi
Letters: Sal Cipriano

With his second offering from AWA Studio’s, Benjamin Percy is marking himself as a creative force to be reckoned with. If the quality of the stories he produces with AWA continue to be this good then this is a pairing that promises to produce gold. Devil’s Highway is a story about a serial killer, whose choice of victim could end up having dire consequences for him. The victim, very much a case of wrong place wrong time, has a daughter who turns out to be a total badass and by killing her father has set himself firmly in her crosshairs.

This first issue doesn’t waste much time in getting stuck into the story. It starts off innocently enough, a diner at Christmas time, but before long there’s a brutal murder and then we’re introduced to our heroine, Sharon, who wastes no time at all in looking for her fathers killer. Her introduction establishes not only how dangerous she is but focused on figuring out who took her fathers life.

As the story progresses so do the readers questions. As if the story itself wouldn’t draw readers back for the next issue the number of mysteries and puzzles to solve would. Percy’s writing is excellent, he manages to tell the reader so much with only a few words, and it never feels forced. A natural conversation between two friends at a diner at the start of the story manages to tell the reader fathoms with only a few words. We learn so much about the estranged relationship between father and daughter, and it’s done so naturally as well it feels organic even though it serves an important plot point.

Brent Schoonover’s art is incredible, as the comic opens and we’re treated to winter in Wisconsin the reader can practically feel the bitter chill in the air. The characters are all incredibly detailed and feel more like real people and less like models which some artists can be guilty of. It’s so well done the reader is actually transported to Wisconsin while they read.

Then there’s Nick Filardi’s colours. If Schoonover’s art made the intro feel cold for the reader then Filardi’s warm colours within the diner make it feel toasty and inviting. Then when the violence starts the bright blood splatters stand out against the starker whites, bringing home the violence and marking this comic as a mature read.

Yet another series from AWA which manages to establish, with only its debut issue, itself as yet another comic series that must be read. The level of quality from AWA is uncannily good. Benjamin Percy’s writing is phenomenal, it’s character led stories which are real page turners. The skill of the creative team doesn’t end there though, Schoonover’s art and Filardi’s colours make this comic into a real place, with real characters going through natural emotions. The tale of a serial killer who may have inadvertently chosen the wrong victim, and the femme fatale on his tail, promises to be a good one.

Our Score:


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