I haven’t read a whole lot of comics from Boom Studios to date. I was onboard with their Hypernatural series for a while back in 2012, and read a few other titles here and there, but didn’t really stick with anything. Which is something that I really should correct since a lot of the publisher’s titles are really interesting, such as Polarity mini-series, or even the fact that they publish the Planet of the Apes comics, which I’ve wanted to read for a good long while now. With my increased reading capacity each week, perhaps this is the time for getting back on track with that and I already have a great title that I’m following at present.
Michael Alan Nelson’s Hexed debuted last month and the first issue was awesome. An urban fantasy involving a female thief who steals magical items so bad guys can’t get to them? Let’s chalk that up to being an awesome masterpiece. The first issue involved some crazy action involving a post-Impressionist masterpiece and led to some really interesting developments for the hero, Lucifer. And the second issue continued that, with even more action involving a trip to metaphysical realms and using magic items to stop the bad guys. This has to be Michael’s best work to date, that I’ve read, and the art by Dan Mora and Gabriel Cassata is mind-blowing as well.
When I was reading the first issue last month, sometimes it felt as if there were Hexed adventures prior to this because of some of the dialogue that is shown between the bad guys, and that was a bit disorienting. But fortunately, Michael’s story and script are very new reader-friendly. We get to meet Lucifer in the middle of an op, and everything just goes on from there. We get introduced to her allies in short order, and the villains as well, who are pretty damn creepy and awesome if you ask me. There’s a bit of trippiness to the comic, largely towards the end, but I didn’t mind that because it was executed really well, and that was something that the second issue this week built upon. And the covers by Emma Rios really do capture the trippy nature of the comic, so that’s a huge plus right there.
One of the things that I loved was that Michael’s script is fairly tight and focused. There aren’t any loose ends in either of the two issues though there is a bit of a cyclical nature to things, which made for some really great dramatic moments every few pages. Where the first issue focused on limited theatrics, the second issue goes full out on them and then just continues on. The introductions to the both the heroes and villains are brief and through the dialogue he really lets the reader make up their own minds, or at least, that’s how it felt to me while reading through.
Most of all though, I loved Michael’s character, whether that be Lucifer and her friends Val Brisendine and Raina or the evil siblings Yves and Cymbaline or the super-creepy Harlot. Each character has something really interesting to offer, and what I admired was that the heroic trinity had great chemistry with each other and that they also got the best dialogue in either of the two issues.
Michael’s story offers a lot of mysteries to the reader, such as what the rivalry is between Yves and Cymbaline or what role the Harlot plays in the events with respect to Lucifer, so that is something I’m looking forward to. But one thing is for sure here, that things are going to get really epic in short order, if the second issue is any indication, and I really don’t mind that at all. Michael’s writing isn’t grandiose or anything, it is ambitious and it knows that it is ambitious and it seems to be focused on an end-game.
After all, given everything that he throws at the heroic trinity in the second issue, it doesn’t look like the heroes are going to have a good time of things, and there are some major magical items in play no less, especially since Lucifer is stuck in a metaphysical realm by the end of the second issue. How is she going to get out?
The illustrations in these two issues are by Dan Mora, with colours by Gabriel Cassata and letters by Ed Dukeshire. The art matches the story in almost every way that you can imagine. It is often psychedelic with the colours, such as towards the end of the first issue and all throughout the second issue when Lucifer meets with the Harlot and goes on her… “death” journey. The characters are all rather stylized with long, thinnish figures and angled faces. But I loved every moment of it. And it isn’t that the art stays in one style all the way through, no. When Lucifer enters a painting to save someone, the colours take on a very oily and shadowy look. When Lucifer meets the Harlot, the full “yaaaaagh!” creepy factor of the character really comes through. With all the monsters that Lucifer fights in the metaphysical realm, they each have a distinct style to them.
In short, these are two great issues of a great new comic!