Writer – John Farman

Artist – Mike Dabro

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Vital Publishing’s core titles nestle in the horror category and while they’re bringing newer titles that broaden their range it’s good to see that they still have stories to tell that will mess with your head.  Cue the two-part Midnight Massacre and you have back-to-back stories of the Devil setting his sights on a specific soul to join him in hell.  In each issue the form he takes is different with a male character flexing his power to get access to a recently arrested criminal and in female form she works his way into a Halloween party….both with casualties on the way and some gritty truths hammered home in each of them.

For these issues I think John has produced some of his most disturbing work within the horror titles he’s had a hand in and while the gore is of a similar level, the reasoning behind those actions are on the darkest side of the choices his characters can make.  Not too surprising since the Prince of Darkness himself is front & centre but what IS surprising is the level of understanding you give him as the reader.  The cannibalism, the ease at which he/she sends people to their death with a mere suggestion and the calm within him as he does this starts to make him out to almost be some sort of vigilante cleaning up the streets.  A slick head-fuck from John

Mike Dabro’s art is another key element of making this book what it is as the sketchy style keeps an element of risk to the Devil’s every move regardless of his form.  The calm demeanor gets a sinister edge to it which helps exude the power you’d expect from evil incarnate.  Similarly, the tone and visceral violence that’s played out is stark & shocking as it needs to be with subtle touches here and there that make the whole experience a bit unsettling.