Review: Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1

Devil's Reign: Villains for Hire #1

Devil’s Reign has been solid so far. The event sees Wilson Fisk’s plans all coming together as he uses his power as Mayor of New York to try to reign in Marvel’s superheroes. There’s a little bit of Dark Reign mixed with the Superhero Registration Act but all updated to reflect today’s political reality. But, even better, the tie-ins for the event have been really good as well. It feels rare that event tie-ins have been the quality that they’ve been so far. Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1 is an entertaining read and one that shines the spotlight on just one aspect of Fisk’s plan.

Written by Clay McLeod Chapman, Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1 focuses on a new team of Thunderbolts who work alongside the NYPD to maintain law and order. Of course the team is beyond dysfunction comprising of Taskmaster, Rhino, Whiplash, Electro, and Agony. It’s a varied mix of personalities and issues with an end result you know is only going to wind up with a meltdown of the team. Chapman focuses in on that dysfunction. Not only the team’s dynamic with each other but their brutal justice as well. They might hold up law and order but they’re murdering to do so. They also have no problem fighting each other as well as those that break the law.

The fact Chapman focuses on the initial villains as comical terrorists attacking a ball for its excess instead of using the money to help feed families. It plays up the comical aspects of the comic though delivers villains that feel a bit goofy and easy targets. But, they’re not really the point, it’s the death and destruction the Thunderbolts bring to resolve the issue that is.

The art is by Manuel Garcia and it’s good. Generally it plays up the over-the-top nature of the story. My gripe is Rhino who never quite looks right and at times feels flat in the visuals. Everyone else is great, just his character feels very off in almost every scene. Garcia is joined by a bunch of inkers Lorenzo Ruggiero, Scott Hanna, Livesay, Andy Owens, and Victor Nava. Dono Sánchez-Almara and Fer Sifuentes-Sujo handle the color while Joe Sabino is on lettering. The art is generally good and tries to play up the comedy of it all instead of focusing on the gore.

Devil’s Reign: Villains for Hire #1 is an entertaining addition to an event that has been solid. It plays out as expected and hits the beats that are expected. It, so far, hasn’t broken any new ground but it does deliver enough entertaining moments to make it a worthy read.

Story: Clay McLeod Chapman Art: Manuel Garcia
Ink: Lorenzo Ruggiero, Scott Hanna, Livesay, Andy Owens, Victor Nava
Color: Dono Sánchez-Almara, Fer Sifuentes-Sujo Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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