[Comic Book Review] DEVIL’S HIGHWAY #1 from AWA Studios

PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of DEVIL’S HIGHWAY #1 from AWA Studios. Available Wednesday, July 1st, the creative team for this issue features writing from Benjamin Percy, art from Brent Schoonover, colors by Nick Filardi, and lettering from Sal Cipriano.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

DEVIL’S HIGHWAY #1

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Brent Schoonover
Colorist: Nick Filardi
Letterer: Sal Cipriano

Cover Artists:
Brent Schoonover w/ Nick Filardi

In Shops: July 1, 2020

A young woman with a dark family secret embarks on a quest to hunt down the serial killer that brutally murdered her father – only to discover he is just one piece of a national network of evil that snakes across the country and hides in plain sight. To catch the devil she must first embrace the darkness within.


PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
DEVIL’S HIGHWAY #1

As my first venture into an AWA Studios title, I was impressed with what I found between the pages. The creative team assembled screams talent and experience. Individually, each person has proven themselves with the high quality of work they can produce. Together, they make for a brilliant quartet, united in harmony in delivering this dark, chilling tale. AWA Studios has a sure-fire hit on their hands and further cements its place among the big name publishers with DEVIL’S HIGHWAY. By leaps and bounds, my pick of the week.

Writing: Benjamin Percy puts his storytelling prowess on full display in this first issue. The pacing and delivery is perfect for this dark thriller. The foundation of Percy’s narrative is firmly planted, filled with moments which will pique your curiosity. I really like how Sharon Harrow, the lead in the story, is being fleshed out. I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface of the layers to this character, but it’s one you want to see revealed. Though issue one gives a sampling of what is yet to come, there’s plenty of intrigue and emotion to hook you in this crime thriller. I’m anxious to see more of what Benjamin has planned.

Art: As appealing as Percy’s story is in DEVIL’s HIGHWAY #1, artist Brent Schoonover’s illustrations are shockingly impressive. He captures the look of this small town and its residents. The series protagonist has a great look, one that has all the makings of an instantly recognizable character in comics. The panel layout for the story is top-notch. Each panel can be wildly expressive, highly-detailed, or very well-defined. In most instances, though, it’s all three. Schoonover has certainly produced what could be argued as his best work to-date in DEVIL’S HIGHWAY. As much as I want to hear more of Benjamin Percy’s story, I’m excited knowing Brent Schoonover is going to bring this dark tale to life. Prepare to be amazed when reading this issue.

Colors: Just as Schoonover’s illustrations give DEVIL’S HIGHWAY a defined look, it’s Nick Filardi’s colors which establish the tone, the ambiance, and the mood of any situation found within. The cold, crisp chill of winter jumps off the pages. The intensity felt from the crimson blood, the fierce scarlet-colored sky, and the vibrant carmine found in shots featuing police. And though there are some striking and bold reds, it’s Filardi’s softened, matted hues that really evoke the feel of the grim thriller. I also appreciate his work with light sources, not something particularly considered in such a dark tale, but does add a layer of authenticity. 

Letters: It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed a title featuring Sal Cipriano’s lettering and it’s great to see it again. Fantastic placement, sound effects that pop, and nice-looking dialogue stacking. Great use of negative space in dialogue balloons. With Filardi’s red/purple/blue tones encompassing most of the feel to this book, Cipriano chose a complimentary, almost Persian pink for the captions and it works surprisingly well against the background and the steak in Sharon’s hair. When you have a letterer like Sal attached to your project, you can rest assured that you won’t need to worry about the quality or choices he makes – it is always first-rate and intelligently done.

DEVIL’S HIGHWAY #1 has all the makings for an intense thriller: a gripping storyline, expressive illustrations, and an omnipresent shroud of mystery. As pieces of the overall narrative are beginning to be revealed, I experienced an exciting rush as the darkness surrounding this tale started to take shape. Though the first issue gives you a small taste for what’s in store, by the final page you’ll be sucked in, yearning for issue two. I’m all-in for this series and will be taking the ride on DEVIL’S HIGHWAY.

5 out of 5 stars


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Writer – Benjamin Percy

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Artist – Brent Schoonover

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Colorist – Nick Filardi

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Letterer – Sal Cipriano

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Publisher – AWA Studios
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About Jason Bennett 6261 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett

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