An ancient, fallen archangel will ruin North America with nuclear toxins unless a multicultural force of holy men and heroes can smite the supernatural menace.
Drawing heavily from the Judeo-Christian mythos, screenwriter/author Saperstein (Red Devil, 2014, etc.), creator of the Cocoon franchise, delivers the second installment of a planned four-part, color-coordinated supernatural action saga. Belial is one of four fallen archangels—along with Satan, Lucifer, and Leviathan—exiled by God for their rebellion over the favor shown to humankind. Now, Belial, “the despoiler of the Earth, the polluter of the air and land,” has the guise of Cuban-refugee entrepreneur Nicholas Perez. Under cover of a Utah development project, Belial plots to poison North America with leaked radioactive waste. He’s opposed by a brave Mormon-Indian alliance and the heroes of Red Devil, a secret multicultural strike force of holy men called the Vigilants, who previously managed to imprison Satan in China. Told in spare characterizations and pulpy, fast-moving prose, the tale has the comic-bookish vibe of a doomsday spy caper; just substitute ecumenical clergy for 007 and give the cackling jet set supervillain and his minions power to shape-shift into deadly animals. It differs from evangelical fiction by offering almost all Scripture as quoted in Navajo, by preaching urgent eco-based homilies, and by embracing all major world religions, including Islam and—wait for it—Sasquatch. From a God’s-eye view, an omniscient narrator tells readers what the evil spirits are scheming and thinking, which tends to detract from the menace implied by being the universe’s ultimate bad guys.
One hell of a ride, even though the devils in these details are more comic book than cosmic.