AfterShock Comics have announced “Chicken Devil,” a comedy thriller set in the world of fast food, by writer Brian Buccellato (“Detective Comics,” “The Flash”), artist Hayden Sherman (“Cold War,” “Wasted Space”), and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The book revolves around Mitchell Moss, a happily married father-of-two, and co-owner of the Memphis chain of Hot Chicken restaurants, who discovers his business partner owes the Russian mob $2 million. After his family are attacked, Mitch dons the mantle of the Chicken Devil to fight back.
Buccellato described the book as a “dark tragicomedy that puts an edgy spin on the revenge/vigilante genre,” tonally similar to a Quentin Tarantino film, AMC’s Fargo, HBO’s Barry, or Netflix/Channel 4’s The End of the F***ing World (itself based on the comic book by Charles Forsman). He said he loves “stories that mix the super violent and the funny,” and that “the humor in my story attempts to do the same thing by taking graphic violence and the revenge movie tropes and putting [them] through a darkly comedic lenses that is 100% my sense of humor.”
He also said he was excited by the “opportunity to showcase a different creative side” to readers than his superhero work, quipping that there are “grounded story reasons why he dons the suit. Reasons that aren’t a bunch of bats inexplicably breaking through his window.” He noted “there are serious relationships and consequences at play… but the experience is intended to be breezy and fun as it plays off well-known crime and revenge genre tropes.”
Issue #1 of “Chicken Devil” will be released online and in comic book shops on October 6, and retail for $4.99. It will be available with an incentive cover by David Lopez, which you can check out with a preview of the art, and the full interview with Buccellato, below:
BRIAN BUCCELLATO ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT:
“Chicken Devil is a dark tragicomedy that puts an edgy spin on the revenge/vigilante genre. Our hero, Mitchell Moss is passive, super-responsible and is about as regular as it comes. He’s married, with two children and co-owns a chain of Memphis Hot Chicken restaurants. It’s not the life that screams John Wick or The Punisher… until his world gets turned upside down when the Russian mob hurts his family. So, Mitch sets out on a path of bloody revenge…
But there’s one BIG problem. He’s he is ILL-EQUIPPED to be a badass vigilante. He’s not ex-military or a former assassin… he’s just a regular guy who makes really good chicken. Nevertheless, Mitch dons the chicken-devil suit and give it his best (but probably not good enough) shot.
What excites me most about this book is the that it’s an opportunity to showcase a different creative side (that people will hopefully like). Even though there are literal life-or-death situations, it’s done in a light, more irreverent way. Don’t get me wrong, there are serious relationships and consequences at play… but the experience is intended to be breezy and fun as it plays off well-known crime and revenge genre tropes.”
BRIAN BUCCELLATO ON SOME OF HIS INSPIRATIONS BEHIND CREATING THE BOOK:
“I think I was watching a lot of Netflix’s BARRY and THE END OF THE F***KING WORLD at the time. And AMC’s FARGO. There’s something about a darkly comedic world with ‘normal’ people and heightened violence that really plays into my sensibilities. I’ve been known for doing down the middle superhero stuff and horror books… but haven’t really leaned into this weirder side of my tastes. Chicken Devil is a major move in that direction.”
BRIAN BUCCELLATO ON THE BOOK’S DARK HUMOR – WHERE IT CAME FROM AND HOW IT INFORMS THE STORY:
“Like I mentioned earlier, I LOVE stories that mix the super violent and the funny. This probably goes back to the first time I saw RESERVOIR DOGS, TRUE ROMANCE and every Tarantino movie that followed. I’m such a big fan of his work and marvel at his ability to mash up wildly different elements into cohesive narratives that are undeniably his. The juxtaposition of his clever banter and wonderfully dark humor allows us to accept heroin needles, ears getting cut off, or people graphically lit up by flame throwers.
I’m not comparing myself to Quentin— he’s truly a master of what he does… but I think the humor in my story attempts to do the same thing by taking graphic violence and the revenge movie tropes and putting through a darkly comedic lenses that is 100% my sense of humor.”
BRIAN BUCCELLATO ON WHY A CHICKEN MASCOT COSTUME:
“Because ruthless mobsters getting whacked by a clueless dude in a burnt-up chicken costume is hilarious to me. There are also grounded story reasons why he dons the suit. Reasons that aren’t a bunch of bats inexplicably breaking through his window…”
BRIAN BUCCELLATO ON 3 REASONS WHY COMIC FANS SHOULD PICK THIS BOOK UP:
“1. It’s fun and funny and weird in the best possible way. I mean. Haven’t you always wondered what a revenge story would look like if the hero wasn’t John Wick— he was just a motivated regular guy who makes really good chicken?
2. Hayden’s art is masterful and hits the tone perfectly. And his vibrant colors make for a beautiful rendition of Los Angeles that really makes the world of chicken devil its own thing.
3. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering is a thing of beauty. I’m honestly in awe of how inventive his letters are. The playful caption design and his ability to manage the flow and mood of the reading experience is some of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s such added value! Truly the top of the lettering game!”