The best way to describe Allen: Son of Hellcock, is to say that it’s homage to Conan. But only if Conan died, became a ghost and haunted his son who was nothing like him. That is the gist of Allen: Son of Hellcock and the premise alone was enough to get me to check it out. The issue begins with Hellcock in a fierce battle. We see the young stud swinging his blade and lobbing off faces and torsos. We also meet his nemesis, Lord Krong the Maleficent. The story continues showing their eternal battles and introducing us to Hellcock’s life. Then we see Hellock die and his nemesis win. I know right? The villain wins! This all pans out to a shopkeeper telling the story to a customer that is there for a wheel and basically has no idea why the hell this anthropomorphic creature is telling him the entire and complete story of Hellcock.
From there we meet Allen who just so happens to work for the wheel mending merchant. Allen gives his boss some lip and then skidaddles to his therapy session. It’s worth pointing out here that this is like a modern medieval times. Think steampunk, but with barbarians and magic instead. After his therapy session Allen heads home and this when we meet dear old dad… who is haunting his son until he avenges his death.
We also meet the villains of the story, but when you hear what he’s done with society since Hellcock’s death you have to wonder if he’s really a bad guy. He also has a son and more than likely the next generation will pick up the family rivalry.
The jokes are subtle. I never cried out laughing, but I did get a chuckle here and there and read the book with a smile on my face. The writing is sharp. The writers used a clever device to introduce Hellcock’s backstory, which seems unimportant since we’re following Allen, but it’s not. We need that backstory to know what type of character we’re dealing with. He’s everything his father isn’t and so we need to see the differences instantly. This story is also a fun story to share with others. Its funnier to tell someone a line from the book than it is to read it solo. It begs to be shared with others, which is a wonderful comic experience.
The art is great. The world that’s built is full and rich. It feels very alive and strangely modern, but still archaic. The character designs are memorable and unique. There’s a lot of visual humor to the designs and I challenge you to play a fun game of “spot the differences” between young Hellcock and ghost Hellcock. With comedy though, you need strong visuals otherwise jokes will fail or fall flat. Thankfully that’s not the case here. The art supports the humor and pushes the story forward. I also strangely enjoyed the coloring a lot. It really grabs your attention so soak it in.
Overall, Allen: Son of Hellcock is a welcomed series. I wish there were more series that were comedic each month. There’s so much drama and angst in comics that just getting a good funny book is a challenge. It feels like they’re so few and far between when comedy overflows other mediums. Let’s hope Allen and other funny books are the rise of comedic comic books. If you want a laugh or just want to see a “what if” about Conan, then check out Allen: Son of Hellcock.
Allen: Son of Hellcock #1 Writers: Will Tracy, Gabe Koplowitz Artist: Miguel Porto Publisher: Z2 Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/9/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print