Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Unknown: The Devil Made Flesh - Mark Waid

A while back I read and posted about THE UNKNOWN, the first volume of a graphic novel series written by Mark Waid and drawn by Minck Oosterveer.  Now I've read THE DEVIL MADE FLESH, a trade paperback collecting the second mini-series about terminally ill occult detective Catherine Allingham.

At the end of the first volume, Allingham had six months to live because of the tumor eating away at her brain, but as THE DEVIL MADE FLESH opens, more than a year has passed, she's still alive, and she's bothered by selective amnesia that means she doesn't remember her former assistant James Doyle.  She has a new assistant, a beautiful blonde named Adriana, and she's still traveling all over the globe solving bizarre mysteries that have some paranormal aspect.

But then there's a plot twist I didn't see coming at all, and Catherine and Adriana find themselves heading for a small town in Alabama that's plagued by a serial killer whose victims all leave mysterious one-word messages scrawled in their own blood.  And all of those words are different.

Waid does a great job of layering in the clues and tying everything together so that it all makes sense, including Catherine Allingham's amnesia and the fact that her brain tumor hasn't killed her like it was supposed to.  There's plenty of action, and Oosterveer's artwork has grown on me to the point that I really like it.  This particular storyline comes to a satisfactory conclusion, but Waid obviously has more in mind.  I'll be on the lookout for the next volume in this series.  Recommended.

UPDATE: One of the blog's readers has passed along the sad news that artist Minck Oosterveer died in a motorcycle accident on September 17.

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