At school for angels and demons, one devil just wants to do goodS

At St. Swithern's Middle School, angels and demons mingle freely in the hallways. But little Diva Beelze doesn't fit in with the angels on account of her horns and doesn't fit in with the devils thanks to her persistent desire to do good. And she's totally unprepared when she comes into possession of a power that goes beyond mere good and evil.

Created by Pete Menotti, the webcomic Evil Diva centers on Diva, a little devil girl who just doesn't fit in. Her favorite color is pink. Her hellhound, Cerby, is more of a purse dog. Her best friend, Michelle, is an angel. And her school progress reports lament that she's always too damn good in school. She doesn't fit in with the demons, and most of the angels don't treat her much better, especially the uber-popular Angela Bartleby, who may be better at fitting in, but is no better suited for the angelic world than Diva is for the demonic one.

But it's through her school guidance counselor, the mysterious Mr. Virgil, that Diva finds some meaning in her life—although that meaning proves more complicated than she ever expected. Diva becomes the caretaker of a magical artifact that fulfills her magical girl dreams, but also behaves in unpredictable ways. Diva thinks that this magical power will turn her into a superhero, but she has to learn the nuances of its power—and why such powerful figures as the Dude and the Big Guy are suddenly so interested in her.

What makes Evil Diva so enjoyable is that it ultimately isn't a story about good and evil—at least not in such simple terms. Diva's demonic family may not fully understand Diva's do-gooder ways, but they adore her, and it's clear that some transgressions are not appropriate, even in the demon world. And Diva isn't the only character in the comic who is dealing with the fact that horns and a tail don't necessarily make someone a bad person, just like a halo doesn't necessarily make a person a genuine angel.

The comic has been through a handful of artists, with varying degrees of success with the character. (And I'll admit, I'm rather partial to the art in the earlier issues.) But the sketchier comics prove how strong Menotti's writing is; he makes excellent use of the mythology he's shoving his hands into, and makes my Dante and Vergil-loving heart glad.

[Evil Diva]