What if the mobs were run by demons? And what if instead of running numbers they were dealing in mortal souls? And what if there was one who didn’t like his lot in life? You’d have a pretty good story on your hands, thanks to The Damned from Oni Press.
The complete press release follows:
(Press Release) Oni Press is pleased to announce the October release of THE DAMNED – a new series by acclaimed horror writer Cullen Bunn & artist Brian Hurtt (QUEEN & COUNTRY, GOTHAM CENTRAL, HARD TIME).
During the prohibition era, gangsters grew rich on our nation’s vices, and rivalries between criminal organizations resulted in open warfare and gangland murders. But unknown to the common man, a more sinister power controlled the crime cartels, using greed, gluttony, lust, and other sins to fuel a much more lucrative trade: mortal souls.
Three demon families—the Aligheris, the Roarkes, and the Verlochin—control soul-trafficking within the city, capitalizing on “the rackets” to lead unfortunates into their grasp. The two most powerful demon crime families, the Aligheris and the Roarkes are embroiled in a long-lasting war for dominance of the city’s illegal activities, while the Verlochin Family works from the shadows and laments over how far the once proud demon orders have fallen.
Alphonse “Big Al” Aligheri has hatched a plan to end the feud with the Roarkes and consolidate their power. But before things can be finalized, the bookkeeper tasked to brokering the deal has disappeared along with a ledger that could spell doom for all the families. Hoping to find the missing bookkeeper before the deal falls apart, Big Al puts Eddie on the case.
“Eddie is cursed to keep returning from the dead, and he doesn’t want to spend his many lives in the service of a demonic gangster,” explains series author, Cullen Bunn. “Big Al has promised to square Eddie’s numerous gambling debts, though, and an end to the conflict between the families may be Eddie’s best opportunity to become a free man.”
But there’s more to this case than Eddie realizes. Mysterious figures shadow him; demons lose control their own actions; and the Roarke Family prepares to go back to war. Another player is making a push for dominance of the city, planning to crush the demons and Eddie along with them.
“What really struck me about the book was how effortlessly Cullen and Brian were able to blend the genres – everything from the look of the characters, to the rhythm of the dialog,” comments series editor Randal C. Jarrell. “It all just works so well. It really does transport you to both an era that did exist and a world that is rooted in the dark fantastic. What is even better is that it is all done through the eyes of Eddie, our cursed amoral gumshoe protagonist – the unluckiest man in the world who just won’t die.”
THE DAMNED is a supernatural gangland tale with the best of both genres. Organized crime is the province of demons obsessed with the very vices they use to tempt humans. Mortals and half-breeds scratch and claw their way up the ladder of power. And one man, cursed and unable to rest, finds himself caught up in the middle of a sinister web of kidnapping, murder, and damnation.
THE DAMNED #1 is listed in the current PREVIEWS and will ship to comic book stores October 18th, 2006. It is a DOUBLE-SIZED issue with 48 pages and will retail for $3.50, with the Diamond Order Code: AUG06 3487.