Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Marc Borstel
WHAT IS IT?
An emotional, supernatural horror story about finding happiness when burnt by the past.
Think Twilight meets Sin City.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Hoping to gain a bit of vital human life force, the half-demon and daughter of the mad god Chaos, Nyx, stumbles into a gang of drug lords. Despite her best efforts, each member dies in the confrontation making her settle for the life force of an arriving police officer. Her immortal existence and her strifeful past have made her numb and careless, having little sympathy for humans, but this time, she felt a bit sorry for the officer she consumed.
Dancing the night away in a club, Nyx notices that she’s being stared at by a solitary man named Scott whom she decides to take to bed. After the two are discovered by Scott’s daughter, Nyx attempts to leave, but the man begs her to stay for breakfast. Against her better judgment, she agrees, and thus begins a new relationship.
Everything appears to be going well, but then Nyx is visited by minions of her father, wanting aid in overthrowing the god. Can she escape her past and start anew, or will the demonic hordes keep her from happiness?
Gage’s story is heartbreaking with hints of noir. The reader becomes deeply sympathetic for Nyx and her terrible circumstances.
The story required many styles of linework which Borstel adeptly nailed. Nyx and Scott are smooth and graceful, while the demons are rough and jagged making them feel even more out of place on Earth.
Contrasts of warm and cool colors from Llorach make readers feel the heat in Llorach’s color work. The primarily cool tones for the calmer scenes make each instance of Nyx bursting into flames impactful.
Esposito’s lettering is masterfully placed, framing the important parts of each scene and guiding the eye smoothly through the panels. His use of creative fonts for the demons imbues their voices with a mysterious, ancient tone.
The caption boxes peppered throughout the story give the reader a deeper insight into the mind of Nyx making her intimately fleshed-out right away.
Shading on both the penciling and coloring side provides tremendous depth and photorealism to each panel. Nyx feels like she physically glows each time she turns into her demon form and the scenes placed in dark bedrooms have their tone set largely by the feathery black patches.
Gage does a tremendous job of mixing in Nyx’s backstory and connection to other Dynamite properties with the story so readers unfamiliar with the character don’t feel lost.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Content Warning: There is a bit of nudity, suggestive panels, and graphic violence that could be turn-offs to readers sensitive to that.
Although the story feels complete, it’s not entirely clear if the events in this issue will be the inciting incident for the story as a whole, or if this was mostly to establish the emotions and backstory of Nyx. Something towards the end to suggest further events could have aided this.
The different balloon and lettering styles instantly established the demons as being from another world, but they also toed the line of cartoonish because of the heavy line and letter thickness.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Nyx is immediately gripping, pulling in readers with the emotional text and gorgeous art. While some might avoid this book for being another tie-in to similar Dynamite characters, the story cut that expectation off at the starting line. Nyx’s immortality and her being convinced of the meaninglessness of everything make her highly hedonistic and unable to be emotionally vulnerable. She’s stuck in-between being a heartless demon, and a feeling human. Without explicitly stating such, the reader instantly can feel that this contradiction has caused a cycle of hurt and makes her incredibly relatable and sympathetic.
This book wouldn’t be near as heart-wrenching without the incredible cohesion of the artistic team. Every face perfectly fits the emotion of the scene and the coloring enhances every bit of fear, anger, and despair on display. The lettering makes navigating this emotional rollercoaster feel like a ride on a lazy river in the best way. Everything works together so well that this book couldn’t possibly have been made by any other team.
Fans of the noir-tinged horror icons of Hellboy or Spawn will fall in love with Nyx, but truly, anyone wanting an emotional story that stands out among the Dynamite cast will also find much enjoyment within these pages.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Christos Gage & Rebekah Isaacs
Avengers Academy by Christos Gage & Mike McKone
Hellboy by Mike Mignola
If you like the art:
Weapon X by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente & Marc Borstel
Lady Death: Apocalypse by Mike Wolfer & Marc Borstel
Vampirella: Seduction of the Innocent by Christopher Priest & Ergun Gunduz
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Christos Gage (@christosgage) – Writer
Having a prolific career, Gage has written for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Valiant, and Dynamite Comics with his most notable titles being Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Avengers Academy.
He is also a screenwriter and has written for Hawaii Five-O, Law & Order, and Numbers.
Gage’s work has won a Nexus award and has been nominated for GLAAD and Harvey awards.
Marc Borstel (@marcborstel) – Artist
Operating primarily in the indie sphere, Borstel has penciled for Arcana, Super Ego Press, and Boundless Comics, but has also done work on Marvel’s Weapon X.
His work on The Misadventures of Clark & Jefferson was nominated for a Russ Manning Award in 2010.
Borstel hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Jordi Escuin Llorach (@jellorach) – Colorist
A rising talent, Llorach has done work for IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and Titan comics.
They are well-known in all-ages comics having colored Battle Toads, Strawberry Shortcake, Skylanders, and multiple Disney comics.
Llorach hails from Spain.
Taylor Esposito (@TaylorEspo) – Letterer
Esposito has done a variety of comic-related design jobs, and quite a few graphic design jobs, all of which can be found on his website.
He has worked on books for DC, Dynamite, Dark Horse, and now Vault Comics.
He is also a second-degree black belt in Koei-Kan Karate-Do
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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