In This Issue: Meet John, a mercenary for hire who is damn good at what he does and what he does is kill for a living. Only thing is, John hasn’t felt alive since he lost the love of his life several years back, a direct result of his chosen profession. He makes a fatal mistake on his latest job and is killed only to find himself with a one-way ticket straight to Hell. Enter the fallen angel Mandy, who makes him an offer he can’t refuse–kill the target of her choosing (which is someone who deserves to die), do it within seven days time and get a Get Out of Hell Card. Only catch is that after he does, she gives him another target, he gets another seven days to do it and…well, you get the idea. If he fails, he goes straight to Hell and that’s the end of that.
The Good: The Good? No, let’s go with The Great. I’m talking about Phil Noto on art. Noto is one of the best artists working in comics today and I feel we don’t get enough of him, so it was really great to see his incredible work grace the pages of this book. And believe me, this is exactly the type of book that Noto is born to draw. Whether it’s one of the book’s amazing action sequences, lead character John’s steamy sex scene with an informant, or one of the many beautiful ladies he comes across, Noto masters each moment with great command and above all, he makes it look effortless. Having Brian Stelfreeze on cover duty is the cherry bomb on top that makes this book visually explode.
At a glance we’ve seen characters like John a dozen times before, but what writers Hill and Levine do is write him in a way like we’re meeting this type low-life for the very first time. Yes, all the conventions that come with a gun-for-hire are there, but without all the clichés. And fallen angel Mandy feels more like a femme fatale than some demonic minion who is using John to win her way back into Heaven.
I am not sure if this is their first published comic book work, but writers Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levine really know what it takes to make a great Pilot Season book. The book reads like a swift jab to the throat…quick, but memorable. The story is brisk without feeling thin. We’re not bogged down with too much exposition or premise. The dialogue is pitch perfect and the characters are memorable.
The Bad: The bad is how I’m going to feel if this book doesn’t come out on top as this year’s Top Cow Pilot Season winner.
The Bottom Line: If you’re going to only pick up one comic book this week, 7 Days from Hell is the book to get. With a great premise, spot on writing, and the amazing art of Phil Noto and Brain Stelfreeze how can you go wrong?