Review: Devil Executioner / Author: Martin Ian Smith / Artist: Nicolás R. Giacondino / Publisher: Attackosaur Comics / Release Date: Out now
According to the publicity for this Attackosaur Comics one-shot, DEVIL EXECUTIONER is based on the real accounts of Father Gabriele Amorth. If you’ve not heard of the mad-as-a-bag-of-badgers Fr. Amorth, then you’re missing out on a treat. He’s a “genuine” exorcist for the Vatican who reckons he’s sorted 160,000 possessions out in his time. He used to do twenty a day but he’s down to a more leisurely four a day now (well, he is 88). He also cites THE EXORCIST (1973) as his favourite movie despite the fact that “the special effects are exaggerated”. A fair point, Father.
Anyway, if you believe any of Fr. Amorth’s statistics, then DEVIL EXECUTIONER isn’t going to seem any more far-fetched. Sadly it’s not actually about Amorth; it is instead about Father John Torrento (oh, yeah) who, while being unable to compete with Amorth as far as quantity is concerned, uses shotguns and harsh language to carry out his Vatican-sanctioned devil evictions. While dark, it’s a pretty lightweight and, indeed, light-hearted affair that fills a bit of time (depending on how long you take to read a 35-page comic). It’s basically THE EXORCIST blended with some early HELLBLAZER and a little bit of FATHER TED’s version of the Vatican (but not nearly enough). Nothing very new but it features top-notch artwork from Nicolás R. Giacondino and it’s only two quid. As the story seems a set up in the hope of a future series then you’ll also have that oh-so-collectible first appearance of John Torrento for a cheap price.
Mind you, how much mileage is there in an ongoing exorcist story? Rather a lot if Gabriele Amorth is to be believed. That’s unreconstructed medievalists for you.