Satanic Hell #2 works like a second issue should. Douros did a good job of setting up the characters and world of his book in the first issue, and in the issue following he expands and explores further. There’s a great opening scene taking place in Dallas where we see the “evil” religious council that rules Texas focusing their efforts on the “Satanic Hell” band. We also finally see the band in action and get back story on some of the members. The art throughout the book is expressive and atmospheric, and artist Kevin Enhart should be given credit for delivering an exciting and engaging book. Still, he has to share that credit, to a large degree, with colorist Jimmy Kerast. The colors in this book are amazing and help capture the eye, keeping one’s focus on a panel or page for an additional, extended glance. The colors also add immensely to the mood of the book. Kerast’s muted sunlight makes the initial council scene feel even more ominous, and his bright, glowing colors in the concert scene sell the excitement of the scene. Satanic Hell would do well to keep Kerast on board!
Satanic Hell #2 also scores points for some awesome bonus material in this issue. During the book, the band is interviewed after their concert by “Brimstone Quartly” regarding their music, public persona, and their public enemy #1, Reverend Scutter. Reminiscent (in a very distant, distant way) of Watchmen’s additional bonus material at the end of each issue, Douros has included the interview (titled “Texas Heat: Backstage with Satanic Hell”) at the end of the issue. It’s a cool bonus piece for fans and shows Douros is attempting to make the “music scene” element a well defined piece of the book. I’ve seen comics based on bands releasing schedules, singles, band t-shirts, and more to enrich similar experiences. Hopefully, we’ll see more ideas like this coming from the creative team.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I don’t believe the story stands up to much scrutiny. I think there’s a real, B-movie, Robert Rodriguez flair to the concept, but, at times, it still feels like the story takes itself too seriously. The ultra-demonization of the religious elements in the story is very interesting, but they only work satirically. The moment you start to move away from the satire and try to enforce the “uber-evil religious” figures from the story in the real world, it just ends up feeling like an angry rant against religion that doesn’t take the complexity of the issue into account. Luckily, there’s more Machete than Se7en in this issue, and, in the end, I believe the book’s direction will continue this trend. As long as you’re not easily offended, you will be able to rock your way through Satanic Hell #2. (And, honestly, if you’re easily offended, why did you pick up the book titled Satanic Hell? Are you a glutton for punishment?)
You can find out more about Satanic Hell and the creative team at the official website or the Satanic Hell Facebook page.
You can also check out Fanboy Comics’ previous reviews of Satanic Hell at the following links:
Satanic Hell #1
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! Until next time, rock out like a half-naked demon chick ("Satanic Hell" gets it.)!
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer