HomeComics/MangaCOMIC REVIEW | "Wicked" Sweet Hilarity in Second "Belzebubs" Collection

COMIC REVIEW | "Wicked" Sweet Hilarity in Second "Belzebubs" Collection

COMIC REVIEW | "Wicked" Sweet Hilarity in Second "Belzebubs" Collection

No matter the circumstances, family is family. Even if you’re the frontman of a Satanic metal band, there’s always room in your black heart for your loved ones. JP Ahonen’s web comic Belzebubs has becoming something of a phenomenon, spawning albums, virtual concerts, and even cute plushies. It’s easy to see why in its second collection of comics, as No Rest for the Wicked shows why love and black metal conquers all.

The family of Sløth, Lucy, Lilith, and Leviathan tackle it all as a family. Internship woes, band practice, Satanic rituals, the works. Yes, they’re quite unconventional, but as readers will come to find, even their struggles are relatable. But as their daily lives are showcased, this black metal-loving family will take on everything life tosses their way. Of course, it helps that they’ve got some literal Hellspawns to protect them when shit goes haywire.

Why Belzebubs works as a comic is showcased gleefully in this second volume. The mixture of affection and debauchery that splatters these pages is a combination that creates beautiful chaos. Sometimes it leads to a joke, like Lucy emerging as a literal demon when coming to Leviathan’s defense during a school meeting. Other times, it’s a silly school report about Sløth that leaves the black metal frontman teary-eyed.

Ahonen’s knack for character evolution is strong, and No Rest for the Wicked presents that in stride. This is shown especially when it comes to Lilith, who is in a relationship with the normal boy Sam. Although he’ll slap on the metal makeup to appease his beloved, Lilith’s means of showing that she loves him the way he is can be genuinely heartfelt. The same goes for Sam, who loves Lilith for all she is. (That includes her god-slaying farts.)

But it’s Sløth who is the star of Belzebubs. Even when dealing with band financial woes or difficult guitar licks, he always fits in time to be a great dad. So much so, that it even benefits from his current temp job, one that I’m certain most black metal-loving folks would be turned away from in an instant. Yet he marches on with gusto, bringing in dough and shockingly moral lessons that those within and outside the comic can take a cue from!

Even the blackest of metal cannot defeat parental mannerisms. Whether it’s tutoring a suspended son, making horrible food puns in public, or comforting those who have terrible nightmares, being good parents is the most important thing in the lives of Sløth and Lucy. Although their style is not of the norm, it does bring the same results: strong independent kids who’ll do what’s right, even if it requires a literal sacrificial sheep.

You don’t have to be a lover of Satan or black metal to see what makes Belzebubs great. It’s funny, earnest, and filled with more love than any Family Circus strip could even fathom. Vol. II: No Rest for the Wicked demonstrates this with the same tenacity as a Sunn O))) guitar solo. It’s loud, fast, in-your-face, and — most of important of all — a beautiful work of art that your senses cannot deny.


Promotional consideration provided by IDW Publishing. In stores July 9th!

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)