Jersey Devil #11
[South Jersey Rebellion Productions $1.75 US $2.70 CAN £2.10 UK B&W Digest-sized]
Written by Tony DiGerolamo / Pencilled by Ken Haeser / Inked by Peter A. DeLuca & Bill Grover
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Tony DiGerolamo keeps plugging away with his Jersey Devil series and with this issue we get the start of what looks to be particularly nasty time for ol’ J.D.
Dr. Jerry Mono, a decidedly evil character, has taken an interest in J.D.—so much of an interest that he’s sending two Atlantic City mooks to snatch J.D. and bring him to Chicago. Meanwhile, J.D., still living on the streets somewhere in Texas is cajoled into helping one of his buddies, Preacher, bust out of jail. The town J.D. and his homeless pals are currently in has been plagued by someone dubbed the railroad killer and Preacher has been picked up for suspicion.
To make things even weirder it turns out that Preacher was “helped” by Jerry Mono twenty years ago when he was a pacifist cop on the Chicago P.D. Jerry Mono’s brand of help doesn’t do you any good though and Preacher soon ended up on the streets as a homeless man
DiGerolamo devotes at least half of this issue to Jerry Mono’s background. Basically Jerry is an ancient being inhabited by the spirits once worshipped by the Croatan tribe. These spirits were driven out by a Croatan summoned demon and eventually took up residence in the body of a mad white settler. Once infused with the spirits powers the newly named Masanako (“Mighty Serpent) or Powako (“Sorcerer”) took revenge on the Croatan until he was eventually vanquished by the resurrected demon. You can’t keep a good evil spirit down so Masanako rises once again and takes on the persona of Jerry Mono and continues planning his revenge, a revenge that includes the Jersey Devil.
This issue marks the debut of a new penciller/inker team. Their skills aren’t as polished as the Fraim brothers or even Dom Lagrutta Jr. the series’ regular penciller. Their backgrounds are solid but their figure rendering could use some work. Perhaps with more issues under their belts that will improve.
The story in Jersey Devil #11 is friendly to first-time readers since a lot of the issue is devoted to setting up the background of Jerry Mono. It’s not a done-in-one tale as the past couple of Jersey Devil issues have been but Tony DiGerolamo knows how to pace a story and leave you with a strong cliffhanger ending.
Since this series is digest-sized you probably won’t find it on your local shop’s shelves. So if you want to give Jersey Devil a try write to South Jersey Rebellion Productions, P.O. Box 439, Stratford, NJ 08084 or visit the SJRP web site at www.thefixsite.com.