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Indie Comic Review: Exorcists #0

Writing reviews can be tough. The ultimate goal is to manage expectations based on the work being experienced. Obviously, a reviewer shouldn't go into a hundred-page epic graphic novel with the same kind of mindset and expectations as a five-page comedy short. That's where I'm at with Exorcists. It's an eight-page short story that serves as an introduction and sample to a larger universe. The story is even numbered as issue zero. As a sampler, it largely does its job, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to improve it.

After a brief introduction to this post-apocalyptic world of action, the story jumps back in time to when the story's trio of main characters were performing an exorcist on a little boy. The dynamic and structure of the events feature all the right choices. It has a creepy boy in his underwear hanging upside down from the ceiling above his bed. Also, the female lead exorcist sports a shotgun, which is a clever twist from the classic exorcist trope. While not top-of-the-line, the art style also lends itself nicely to the book's indie feel while doing a good job of conveying both horror and action at the same time.

The short's negatives can pretty much be laid out in a list. The amateur lettering is probably at the top of that list as it's a major detractor from being absorbed into the world. There's also not much in terms of world-building, which is ironic given how much is communicated. The world has strange demons that are never talked about and the nature of the Apocalypse is barely even discussed. Next is the conclusion of the exorcism itself. With the exorcist about to give up, the boy is seemingly cured out of nowhere, leaving more questions than answers. Last is the book's tagline. It's pretty good and placed right on the front cover to draw you in. But it's also a quote used to close out the story. It's a good line but using it as a tagline minimizes its impact in the actual story. It should be one or the other, not both.

As I mentioned in the beginning, it's hard to judge the sampler on story-related issues such as the Apocalypse and the exorcism simply because this short was just meant to be a taste of the world. But the production issues, such as the lettering and the tagline, are simple things that could have been adjusted. Overall, Exorcists does have potential for an interesting story, but only if the sampler's distracting quirks are taken care of in the main series.

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