Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Possessed Trade Paperback Review

The Possessed
DC Comics - Wildstorm - Cliffhanger!
144 pages
$14.95 (2004) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401202927

Contributors: Geoff Johns, Kris Grimminger, Liam Sharp, David Baron, and John Layman

Reprints: The Possessed #1-6 (of 6)

Synopsis: A very secret war is being raged between the real world and what can only be called Hell.  Innocent people are being possessed by vicious demons who only care about causing destruction and corrupting humans.  The Church is aware, but lacks the tools to truly make a difference.  Only one group has stepped up to make a difference in the struggle.  This motley band of exorcists are possibly scarier than the demons they face, but all share a common bond - they were possessed as children and rescued from their fate.
From left to right: Burroughs, Walt, Christian, Holly, and Trixie
The team is led by Christian whose ultimate goal is to defeat the Devil himself, but most consider it an impossible task.  Burroughs is a tough-as-nails priest who is even more devout.  Holly bears the scars from her possession as a sign of strength and is perhaps too sentimental towards the innocent victims the team rescues.  Walt is Holly's father and he was absent for most of her life and especially during her possession as a child.  He's making up for lost time and disapproves of her and Christian's relationship.  Trixie doesn't rely on faith when there's firepower available.

Burroughs uses his faith as a weapon
during an exorcism
Employing the latest gadgets and tactics against their cunning prey, the group exorcises demons and sends them back to Hell.  Christian has uncovered a pattern to the possessions which may very well lead to his ultimate goal - the Devil!  Is he being tricked by the ultimate trickster?  Can even this group of hardened exorcists hope to stock the

Pros: Demon-killing action, mildly interesting premise, the team of exorcists use some cool tactics, Sharp's art is hardcore and suits the book very well

Cons: Plot is very simple, Sharp's art gets less detailed as the series progresses, characters are flat

Some cool covers by Sharp
Mike Tells It Straight: This book feels like John Carpenter's version of The Exorcist!  I was surprised to see Geoff Johns involved since he's known almost exclusively for mainstream superhero comics with DC.  I've been a fan of Sharp's art since his Incredible Hulk days and he's gotten better over the years.  The first few issues have some highly detailed art, but he cuts corners in later issues.  The book is definitely a one-off for the two big names attached.

Johns' and Grimminger's plot is fairly simple and they progress through it respectably.  Each chapter gives a nice hook leading to the next and overall it's a competent effort.  The book remains mediocre due to flat characters and can't be saved by Sharp's art.  He shows some great chops early on, but I think everyone lost steam by the end.

TO BUY and Recommendations: