REVIEW: 'The Deviant' #1 by James Tynion IV and Joshua Hixson


Writer: James Tynion IV

Artist: Joshua Hixson

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: November 15, 2023

Cover Price: $5.99


As snow falls over Milwaukee in 1972, a blood-stained Santa Claus commits unimaginable atrocities against young men. Fifty years later, a troubled young writer interviews this so-called "Deviant Killer," who still maintains his innocence from behind bars. And as Christmas approaches once again, the past returns, wielding a sharpened ax. Eisner-winning writer JAMES TYNION IV (W0RLDTR33, THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH) and acclaimed artist JOSHUA HIXSON (The Plot, Children of the Woods) unite for a pitch-black holiday horror story.


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

QUICK REVIEW: This is a quick review for a number of reasons but mostly because comic book fans already know whatever James Tynion IV writes is gold so this review is merely a formality. As a matter of fact, the first issue of 'The Deviant' has already sold out at the distributor level. So, yes, 'The Deviant' is good, a stylish suspenseful horror story about a killer Santa Claus who years later is interviewed by a troubled writer while still imprisoned for his crimes. He declares his innocence but is he? What unfolds is a tension-filled murder mystery that oozes style and terror. Tynion loves the horror genre and no doubt is influenced by master storytellers. In this case, Tynion does his best David Fincher, and like 'Zodiac' and 'Mindhunter,' 'The Deviant' has an eerie and chilling pace that offers some jump scares but also some psychological torment. The interview with the killer behind bars is just as captivating as the ones on 'Mindhunter.' Joshua Hixson's art sets the mood and instills overwhelming fright as panels search for what's lurking in the dark. The deliberate sequencing of events wrings every bit of fear and tension from the page. Tense and unnerving, Tynion and Hixson's 'The Deviant' delivers an atmospheric seasonal slasher story for the holidays with style. It's a white-knuckle thriller.