Satanic Hell #1 is basically Footloose on industrial metal steroids. When Death Priest (yes, that is his real name . . . at least according to his ID), Dante, and Exodus score a gig for their metal band, Satanic Hell, they pack up and head to Texas. It’s not long before they encounter trouble in the shape of a local cop. Apparently, dancing isn’t the only thing outlawed by this pack of squares, and the man with the badge promptly declares the band a “traveling satanic circus” and initiates standard protocol (beat the @#$% out of those arrested and throw them in jail). Eventually, after hours of torture at the hands of the Police, the band gets a break when the promoter who booked their gig shows up and bails them out. This is when they learn that the economic crisis has led to Texas privatizing the state and local government. A group of fundamentalist churches bought up everything (Police, fire, courts, jails, airports, parks, etc.) and have enacted the enforcement of “religious law.” Seems like the perfect place for a rock band with a name like “Satanic Hell” to start making some waves . . .
Satanic Hell is sure to appeal to fans of metal and industrial rock. The story is very much seen through the eyes of the band members, and it’s clear from the opening dialogue that Douros is an avid fan of the “music of the devil.” Artists Kevin Enhart and Newel Anderson, as well as colorist Jimmy Kerast, also add a lot of atmosphere to the book and seem like a good fit for the story. Also, given that this is only issue one out of seven, Douros has left enough story threads to keep the reader coming back for more, including the unique and “topical” setting for the book and a growing fandom for the metal band from the young folk in town.
Speaking of the setting, which is described by the creators as a “religious dystopia,” I have to mention that while it is an incredibly interesting idea to explore the topic of religious authority taking power through privatization, there were times when the book felt like it had a personal vendetta against Texas. I’m not the most conservative fellow, but I have met a good amount of decent Texans who have true pride in their state, and I worry that they might be slightly put-off or offended by the depiction of their home. Douros obviously is going for a satirical bend to the story, but that kind of subtlety can fly right over readers' heads at times. In no way am I saying this isn’t a subject that Douros should write about, I’m just saying the creative team may want to skip the conventions in our largest state.
If you dig metal bands and scary authority figures, then support indie comics by getting your hands on a copy of Satanic Hell! You can find out more about Satanic Hell and the creative team at the official website or the Satanic Hell Facebook page.
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! Until next time, keep those Satanic Hell CDs hidden from your parents, safely under the bed, and stay the @#$% out of Texas!!!
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer