Stogle Studios logo


Image of writing and drawing tools

Heretics - Issue 1

Chicago Police investigate a grisly murder. Professor Thomas Stewart is brought in to translate the ancient text written in blood at the crime scene. He identifies two languages, Latin and a type of early cuneiform which had never been deciphered. Special Agent Kingsley of the FBI arrives and aggressively takes over the investigation. She fights with the local law enforcement over religion, but we find out this is a manipulation by Kingsley to infuriate the detective so much that he never wants to deal with this investigation again. She does this simply because she hates it when local law enforcement insists on helping FBI investigations. Meanwhile, Stewart recognizes that both texts are painted inside wallpaper torn in the shape of the Rosetta Stone and concludes that the Latin and Cuneiform must be the same text in both languages, just as the actual Rosetta Stone had been for Greek and Egyptian. Further, he surmises that because the Cuneiform had never been translated, this was the killer’s way of proving he could translate the Cuneiform. Seeing his use, Special Agent Kingsley invites the Professor to join the task force.

Late that night, Kingsley goes to the morgue to give the victim her own autopsy. The coroner tries to be the mother kingsley never had and we learn that Kingsley is exceptionally good at her job, but also very antisocial. As Kingsley records her notes on her phone’s mic, she reveals that the victim was Russian Mafia and all around terrible human being — even by the standards of his profession. She admits that the torture he endured reminds her of the descriptions of Hell she heard from the Nuns in Catholic School every time she got in trouble.

Back at the FBI headquarters, a Physics Professor explains how the writing at one of the crime scenes is a Mathematical proof linking the four main forces, Electromagnetism, Gravity, Weak Nuclear and Strong nuclear forces, into a single unified theory. Special Agent Carson, Kingsley’s partner, objects on the grounds that all the experts from several different fields all claim the killer to be a genius in each of their own fields and that anyone that smart would be publishing and winning Nobel Prizes rather than scrawling proofs in blood at crime scenes. Meanwhile, Stewart points out to Kingsley that the use of the term heretic in the blood text is not how it the word is used today. He explains that the greek word that “heretic” derives from actually means “to be able to choose”, e.i. to have Free Will. Kingsley adds that the stylized symbol of three sixes intwined around each other that was found at the crime scenes backs that finding because the Archangel with Free Will was Lucifer. Carson and Kingsley argue over the plausibility of that supernatural hypotheses.

Meanwhile, in Tbilisi, Georgia, a dark figure, The Beast, kills a bunch of criminals with supernatural powers like the unleashing of Hell itself. After killing the leadership, he assumes control of the criminal organization. Later, the dark figure returns to a subterranean lair of lava and gargoyles. He is met by a woman on a throne who asks about his whereabouts. He starts to lie, but admits that he was doing what he does. She is outraged by his continued violence, but as his wife she seems forgiving. She calls him Dan, and hopes that he knows what he is doing. He admits that he hopes so too.

Heretics - Issue 2

The Beast threatens and kills a wealthy man in front of his son. The Beast speaks of the end of the world and that humanity must be stopped to save it. The Beast makes it clear to the son that he will be taking orders now that the son stands to inherit his father’s companies. Special Agent Carson has the killer trapped and sends in s squad of FBI Agents. They surround a card table of criminals, but none of them are The Beast. While Carson interrogates them, in the span of less than a minute, Special Agent Kingsley notices how the criminals are each positioning themselves to make an escape with force and that more criminals are hiding in closet and overhead ducts. In a flash and with one fluid motion, she throws two chairs that take out two criminals as she knocks out a third criminal as she grabs the leader to use as a human shield as she shoots the criminals that emerge from hiding. This happens so fast the other FBI Agents are left slack-jawed as they struggle to catch up with what just happened. Her eyes bore into the leader, but he says nothing. She tells the other Agents that the leader knows nothing useful despite the fact that he did not say a word.

Later, at FBI Headquarters, Kingsley explains to her boss, the Assistant Director, her theory that the killer might not be the Antichrist, but clearly is just as dangerous anyway. Carson tries to explain to the Assistant Director that Kingsley is lying and that she really believes the killer to be Lucifer. Further, he tells the director that she pretends to know what people are thinking to spook the other agents, that she gets inside peoples heads to manipulate them, and that she is doing it right now to take control of the case from him. Carson ends up sounding crazy as he admits all this in a tirade so the Assistant Director takes Carson off the case, puts Kingsley on lead, and givers her a new partner, Special Agent White.

Later that night as Kingsley leaves FBI Headquarters, Professor Stewart approaches her. They he flirts awkwardly and she takes a few playful jabs at him as he tries to explain that he’s had a few more thoughts about the case. What he reveals, though useful, does not seem worth the trouble of tracking her down this late at night. But just as he works up the courage to ask her out on a date, he is hit hard by a big black figure coming out of the shadows. As he struggles to get up and get orientated again a Kingsley runs the figure into a concrete parking structure with her car. Hurriedly, she peels out and helps Stewart get into her car. Stewart rushes to help her. He asks if that was Lucifer and she explains that it was an Angel named Jezriel. Seeing the severity of Kingsley’s injuries, Stewart takes her to the hospital. As they wait, Kingsley explains to Stewart that Angels are powerful warriors and very dangerous, not just Lucifer. They have their own agendas to follow and don’t care who they step on in their pursuits. She says that this confirms that the Wars of Angels are headed to Earth and that we are on our own to protect ourselves. Stewart takes her home and she thanks him, revealing that she might have a soft side after all.

Heretics - Issue 3

Atlantic City, 1978, a beach house lies quietly filled with dead mobsters. Johnny, a young man shoots his girlfriend. Destroyed emotionally, he starts to blame a hidden figure for all the death between their two mob families. The red headed figure kneels under the barrel of Johnny’s gun and smiles as continues to torment Johnny. In rage, the young man shoot the red headed figure until he runs out of bullets. He reloads with two more bullets he finds in his pocket and continues to shoot the dead and bloody figure. He searches his pockets again and finds one more bullet. The young man shoot himself with it. Moments later, the red headed figure gets up. His wounds miraculously heal as his hair and clothes change style. The figure leaves but is soon stopped by a pointy eared, catlike woman, Hecate. She calls the red headed figure, Loki, Trickster, and The Devil, but he is insulted that she use a human name for him. He insists she call him Caster, being like family. Hecate tries to convince Caster that he should join her and the other old Gods to protect the world from Lucifer who plans to destroy everything. Caster is unmoved by her please. Instead he tells her that she should trust how much he wouldn’t like to trapped and ruled by anyone.

Seattle, 2009. A young man, Dan, awakes from a nightmare. He kisses his wife, Claire, on the head and soothes her back to sleep. They spend their Saturday doing laundry, making breakfast, going out for coffee, dinner and a movie. They are deeply in love, nice and normal people living in Seattle, WA. Dan awakes the following week and goes to work. He has some sort of rash forming, but doesn’t think much of it. Over the course of the day, however, it gets worse. Much, much worse. Until finally his boss insists he go home. He collapses on his couch and calls Claire to bring him to a hospital, then passes out. He wakes to his arm on fire, but when he tries to call Claire again, the phone melts and sizzles in his hand. By the time Claire gets home, he has left and all that remains his a scotched couch and burnt carpet. Following the sounds of a traffic accident outside she runs outside and follows Dan to an abandon part of the docks. There Dan tries to keep Claire from getting any closer as he continues to heat up and burst into flames. Finally, He explodes in fire surrounded by lightning.

Claire cries, her grief absolute, as she runs her hands through the pile of ash that once was Dan. She continues to cry silently, curled into a ruined ball. But behind her the ash reforms into a skeleton, a man’s skeleton but with wings. In the distance, Caster watches this sen with amusement. He comments to himself how perfect it is for The Beast to be a happily married, vegan, dork and home much fun he intends to have with this situation.