What’s Eating You? (Sacred Creatures #5 Comic Review)

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They say everyone loves a baby. In the case of Josh’s newborn and the Seven Deadly Sins, nothing could be any closer to the truth. The question is, why?

SACRED CREATURES #5
Writer: Pablo Raimondi & Klaus Janson

Penciler: Pablo Raimondi & Klaus Janson
Colorist: Chris Chuckry, Brian Reber & Hi-Fi Studio
Publisher: Image Comics


What You Need to Know:

Tasked with the sole responsibility of maintaining watch over the Nephilim, the fallen children of angels, Naviel made an egregious error. She fell in love. Her error was only eclipsed by mating with a mortal and the conception of a child. With their sole barrier now dead, there is nothing to stop the Seven Deadly Sins from achieving their ultimate goal.

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What You’ll Find Out:

Gluttony has her target in sight, but Karen is one grandma that isn’t giving up without a fight. After a brief scrap with one of Gluttony’s thralls that ends with a vase to his face, Karen and her newborn grandson hop a cab and hightail it.

Like their enemy, Father Adrian and Julia are on a search of their own. It isn’t long before they find Josh desperately trying to evade his own pursuer. Wrath receives what should by all accounts be last rights by way of a pipe to the face. Being an eternal supernatural being has its advantages. With a quick recovery, Wrath continues the chase as the three speed toward Brooklyn to rendezvous with Karen and their son.

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The scene shifts to Naviel during a labor that lasts for years and costs nearby villagers their crops, livelihood, and their lives. Divorced from her divine right, her body twisted into a horrid deformity, Naviel finally gives birth to a child that bears the same ugliness in physical appearance, a fitting parallel to her unholy trespass.

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Karen’s own past is interwoven in their current state. Only now does she realize it. Years before her life was saved by a man who entrusts her with a sigil with specific instruction that when she ever hears the phrase, “If you’re going to run, you better be sure you’re fast,” her only salvation will be found in breaking it. She never understood the man’s motives but its clear that he knew the time would come when she would be in dire need.

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Returning to Mesopotamia, Naviel eventually recovers and after initial rebuke comes to accept her own flesh and blood. Deciding once again that her place is in the world, she ventures out with her child and dutiful companions. Upon returning to Shinar, the guardian is confronted with yet another example of her misjudgment. Leaving the once glorious city allowed for corruption to settle in as she gazes upon the handiwork of Envy. The Tower of Babel.

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In the present, Gluttony continues her hunt. Karen is desperate as she searches feverishly for her forgotten hope. Two more thralls have been turned and attack. During the scuffle, the disc, her sole form of salvation is knocked from her grasp and bounds into the street below. Joined by Wrath, Gluttony captures Julia and confronts the priest with a tale of his own childhood and the deplorable circumstances that surrounded his own birth. Knowing her daughter is in mortal danger, maternal instinct wins. With the aid given to her so long ago firmly in her hand once again, Karen smashes Barakiel’s sigil. But assistance doesn’t come. Sensing no imminent threat while ignoring the appeal of Adrian, she indulges her true nature by ripping into Julia’s throat with her teeth.

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Once more we return to Shinar in 2656 B.C. In the midst of an orgy, Nimrod is disturbed by his general who has come to deliver the news of an assault on the Tower of Babel. The king summons Envy who has taken the role of minister to the throne. Despite the palace’s heavy guard, Zimu appears and delivers the ominous news that Naviel has come with her vengeance in tow.


What Just Happened?

The beauty of Sacred Creatures lies in its unpredictability. With every issue as events unfold my imagination reels as I speculate about what is about to happen next. Typically in the more mainstream titles, the formula is simple and one that’s relatively easy to calculate. It’s not a special talent unique to my own skill set. More often than not readers can process the uncomplicated with generally successful results. Such is not the case with this gripping saga.

Dual author and artistic collaboration consisting of Klaus Janson and Pablo Raimondi deliver a chronicle that has more unexpected twists and turns that just when you think you have an idea of what’s to come, you find yourself out in leftfield before you know how you got there. This is truly the greatest feat Sacred Creatures has to offer.

Issue #5 delves further into two different narratives. The first being the action of the sins in the current timeline while flashback sequences are injected at pivotal moments. In true form, I initially thought the Naviel’s introduction and her history was a subtext given to provide insight as to the identity and motivation of the sins. I believe now that her story has far more involvement in the current incidents involving Josh, Julia, Adrian, and Karen that I gave importance. Though I just said speculating is tricky, my perception has shifted to the point in which I believe both stories will eventually merge into a central nucleus that will result in the main pitch at the pinnacle moment of the story.  I fully admit that the nature of Sacred Creatures could easily unravel that theory at a moments notice.

Reiterating a previous assertion, Sacred Creatures is truly a hidden gem and deserves far more fanfare than it receives with consideration to reception both critically and in sales. Why?

The tale of the sins journeys far beyond the vast majority of other comic titles in terms of its diligence in presenting truly gripping moments accompanied by engaging characters and innovation by setting an environment in which new lore is depicted through the framework of true historic events. This alone far surpasses its average peer. Its success is supported by a strong narrative and character building in which each individual central to the main storyline is given unique and distinctive personas with true depth and purpose. The chronicle coupled with the rendering of vivid art and color brings a true sense of sincerity that makes you feel as if the occurrence themselves would not be too far in which fiction could become reality.


Rating: 9.9
Final Thought:

More novel than comic book, Sacred Creatures commands attention. Its ability to shape elaborate details while retaining a simplicity that shrugs cliché tropes and devices propels this series into a class of true standouts and one of the best newcomers of the year.


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