Ava’s Demon, Book One: Reborn by Michelle Fus

The hallmark of a great graphic novel is that even in the wordless panels, you can still hear precisely what’s going on. There’s a big, climactic battle scene near the end of this book that’s entirely devoid of the written word, yet I could hear every single thing that was happening and to loud, orchestral effect. It was an absolutely stunning cap to an absolutely brilliant graphic novel.

In fact, the art throughout this first volume of Ava’s Demon is so freaking good! Michelle Fus Can Do Hands, y’all. It’s actually really odd that the cover looks so juvenile/rudimentary in comparison. The art inside is way more sophisticated than the weirdly flat cover images.

In addition to Ms Fus’ amazing art, I also love how she pokes fun at her own style with her joke about the bad drawings inside Wrathia’s journal. Objectively, they’re gorgeous drawings, but the meanings are 100% too opaque for Ava, so in that sense they definitely fail. It’s a wonderful little commentary on art and audiences that I greatly admired.

Anyway, this story is about Ava, a seemingly young girl who’s been plagued by a demon for the last fifteen years of her life. Her demon is an asshole who’s made her very existence miserable, constantly urging her (successfully) to say awful things and (less successfully) to kill herself. Just as the demon is about to get her kicked out of her Titan-run school, a cataclysm occurs. Ava runs after a former friend, who’s being either rescued or kidnapped by a besotted stranger, and thus manages to escape the destruction of her planet.

But said former friend Maggie is not happy about being abducted by the strange, stammering Odin. In her fury, Maggie crash lands their escape vessel while in the orbit of the closest habitable planet. Ava is impaled, but her demon isn’t done with her yet. As Wrathia finally explains to Ava who she is and what she wants instead of just persistently nagging Ava to destroy things, Ava begins to understand what’s been happening to her all these years. Finally, she agrees to enter into the pact that Wrathia has been longing for.

Thus begins an intergalactic journey for Ava and her young companions to assemble Wrathia’s greatest warriors and take down the tyrant Titan. It’s got strong shades of The Locked Tomb series, but with a Seven Deadly Sins bent to it instead of planetary theming. With several gruesome horror passages, this book is very much Not For Small Children, or for anyone with a weak stomach. It is, however, a highly entertaining sci-fi-horror romp that I found exquisitely engaging (tho there were definitely still passages I had to scrutinize closely in order to understand what was going on. Did I succeed every time? Well enough to be able to move on with the narrative, anyway.)

I really loved how different the characters are, and was especially charmed by Crow and Raven. I’m really looking forward to learning more about their family in future installments. I’m even tempted to just read the webcomic it’s based on now to catch up instead of waiting for more books to cross my desk! Alas, I have to go read many more books for work first, but it’s lovely knowing I could read more of these excellent adventures if I only had the time.

Ava’s Demon, Book One: Reborn by Michelle Fus was published today May 30 2023 by Image Comics and is available from all good booksellers, including

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