The world’s greatest detective is back, and still has six months to live.  But this time, she and James Doyle don’t know each other – or do they?  Strange things are afoot, and it has to do with a mystery that took place between this series and the last.

Unknown_V2_01_COVER.jpgA series of murders in Mountain Oak has Catherine and Doyle checking out the clues left behind – a series of single word scrawls near the bodies.  But before they can investigate further, a flash of light wipes both their minds.  At least that is how it is revealed via flashback as Doyle wakes up in Italy finding himself applying for a security job.  Sadly, as close as he and Catherine got in the last series, it is all wiped away here, as the detective doesn’t recognize or give a passing glance to her former companion when they finally meet at an Italian park.

Catherine has picked up a new partner in the form of a smoking blonde named Adriana.  She keeps close tabs on her boss, and it’s only when Doyle is able to separate the two at a bar that he is able to recount the strange occurrence at Mountain Oak.  The flash of light, the lost time and memory, makes me think of alien abduction, but I don’t think Mark Waid would take us down that path.  The words scrawled next to the dead bodies, clearly written by the deceased, brings back the classic serial killer motif, which is right up Catherine’s alley.

Unfortunately, the issue ends with a bang , and a jaw or TWO might be on the floor when the realization that Catherine and Doyle really won’t be together, made for an excellent hook to draw me into the next issue.
Waid does an excellent job of throwing readers a curveball in this sequel.  Too often, the followup tale continues with the status quo, with maybe a slight change here or there. In The Devil Made Flesh, Waid turns the Unknown world on its ear, essentially giving us a whole new look at the characters.  It’s something that some readers may not like, especially the final page, but I appreciate the risk Waid is taking in telling this tale.  The pacing is fine, and a passing scientific reference got me chuckling, as I recently ran across the same information.  This attention to detail only adds to the story being told.

Likewise, the art by Minck Oosterveer brings a lot to the table.  If Waid is giving extra attention to the writing, Oosterveer is providing subtle clues in the surroundings.  Oosterveer has Doyle and many of the other characters down, but Catherine appears to change her look ever couple panels.  Or at least that is how it comes off to this reviewer.  Still, I like the line work, as it brings a strong presence to the panel.  Likewise, the color scheme used throughout the issue works really well.

The struggle for this new series will be keeping the readers attention.  So much weird stuff went down in the first Unknown series, that it may have driven audiences away.  This issue starts really strong, and finishes even stronger, and I’m hoping the tension continues to build into the remaining three issues.  Unknown:  The Devil Made Flesh #1 is good enough to earn 4 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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