Comics are fun!
If any central message is to be gleaned from Rob Lisle’s quirkily offbeat series The Devil’s Toilet, that must surely be it. Don’t come here for dark commentaries on the human soul or paeans of praise for the special nature of humanity and their place in the universe. Do come here if you want a light read and some simple, silly fun.
Devil’s Toilet 2: Straight Outta Hell
At the beginning of this issue, we find our title ‘character’, freshly escaped from Hell. For details of this escape, and to learn his origin story, you will need to find the first issue - to be reviewed here soon. The Toilet is accompanied by two hellish companions – Mugs and Meatsack Jack – who he has just aided in their escape.
Unfortunately, this escape has been engineered by The Devil himself, so that he may also pass through the portal he has revealed in The Toilet and unleash hell on Earth. As budding heroes, our team realises that “with great freedom, comes great responsibility,” and so they resolve that they must stop the invasion.
And now the fun begins.
Combining their hunt for the Devil with an exploration of their new world, our heroes first encounter – in what appears to be a back alley – groups of kittens, puppies and (perhaps because cuteness, like comedy, obeys the rule of three) babies. Don’t worry, The intrepid threesome is puzzled as well. But the babies have had their moment in the spotlight and are not seen again.
This is where the action really starts.
First, our intrepid band commandeers a police vehicle, to very little useful effect. Then, when all seems lost, Awesome Team – a most unusual group of superheroes – arrives on the scene. Is the crisis over? Have they saved the day?
Escalation follows escalation as first the air force arrives, then a horde of demons, summoned by The Devil through the Toilet’s still-open toilet seat portal. Our heroes team up with Awesome Team who, after a brief origin recap, manage to trick the over-eager air force fighters into leaving.
There follows an almighty battle with the newly arrived demons, aided by “hell guns” – also pulled through the portal. Against all odds, they succeed with the help of a neat trick, but it’s not over yet.
The General, annoyed at being dismissed from the battle, decides to fill the air with fighters and rejoin. This time, when Awesome Team try the same trick, the tables are somehow turned and it is they who disappear. Left alone again, our three heroes confront the Devil.
Suffice to say, the Toilet features centrally in the final resolution. There follow four short epilogues, in which we discover the fates of Awesome Team; the General and his men; our team of three and, in his own separate epilogue, Meatsack Jack! Yes, he gets two – read the issue to find out why. All of this sets up some neat little hooks for future adventures.
Why I Love The Devil’s Toilet 2
This is, first and foremost, a fun read. I confess that I bought the first issue from a sense of duty, helping out an Aussie creator during the COVID crisis. But I came back.
There are no deep and significant themes here but the writing is tight, literate and full of humour that can tend to corny but provoked no groans. The art is clean, dynamic and clear, effectively complementing the text as comic book art should. Colours are excellent and contribute to a wonderfully cartoony feel for the story.
As I said, this is a fun read and I recommend it.
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