Sunday, September 7, 2008

Super-Powered Comics: El Diablo #1

One of two debut comics I picked up this last Wednesday was an interesting revival of a classic DC character. I actually learned of El Diablo through a short lived (and excellent) series in the late 80’s by Gerard Jones and the late, great Mike Parobeck. Only later did I learn of the classic western character of Lazarus Lane through various appearances in reprints, obscure appearances in other titles, and later, through a Vertigo series by Brian Azzarello and Danijel Zezelj. The second Jones/Parobeck El Diablo met his demise in the Villains United Special a few years back so the world was ripe for a new version of the character.

Enter relatively unknown writer Jai Nitz and the well known and highly talented art team of Phil Hester and Ande Parks. They have taken the classic legend of Lazarus Lane and brought it in to the modern day. The new El Diablo is a Latin gang leader and slimeball named Chato Santana. Outside of sounded like a second generation pro wrestler, Chato is an all around nasty fellow. He gets hsi just deserts for his transgressions as he is left paraplegic and imprisoned.

While the feds are trying to get him to roll over on his fellow gang members, he meets the seemingly comatose (and 170 years old) Lazarus Lane. The two end up forming a connection, and a new El Diablo is born. They escape the facility and our series gets underway.

All in all, El Diablo #1 is a solid debut for the new character. It holds a little more depth than most number ones these days and serves to introduce us to the pre-super Chato quite well. Nonetheless this book has a lot of ground to cover in the next five issues if it hopes to succeed.

I would mildly recommend picking this one up. Good creative team, interesting character... this one definitely has the potential to shine.

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