By Ashley Gibbs
Heavenly Blues #1 is the start of a new series focusing on an unlikely pair of misfits as they deal with the trials and tribulations of the afterlife. I first heard about this series at a local convention where I met the creator, Ben Kahn. A cheerful fellow, he sold me on what this work. I fully admit this isn’t my usual cup of tea, however the story is unique to me and I also enjoyed the humorous dialogue for a story literally set in hell. I do warn readers that there is some violence and crude language present here, however, this first issue does a good job of setting up the adventure that’s about to unfold and draw you in for the next book.
The story starts off with a random gentleman getting murdered at work, and we follow him into hell where his spirit lands. He’s not important to the story, but through him we’re introduced to the lead characters, Isaiah Jefferson and Erin Foley, who torture new souls that wind up in hell. This issue shows us that the two have a good relationship and provides a basic understanding of their characters, including some background as to how Isaiah died. The two are approached by an angel who needs them to perform some less-than-divine missions but in return they can get out of hell. The characters are written well and the pair play off of each other like long time friends. Their dynamic is definitely the meat-and-potatoes of the story and despite them not being the most moral of people you still feel connected to them.
To be frank, I wasn’t a fan of the art style. Not because it’s bad by any means but it’s very stylized. I feel one will either really enjoy it or not. That being said, it didn’t distract me from the story being told and was well done in a way that uplifted the story telling. I felt that the artwork got better as the story continued, the characters showed a good deal of emotions as well. The color work is a strong point; Despite the story taking place in hell, things aren’t dark and gloomy. You’d almost think it was the real world if not for the demons and such.
While only being a first issue, Heavenly Blues #1 does a very good job of introducing readers to the two main leads and their relationship dynamic. While there isn’t an overflowing amount of action or deep plot development, it’s just enough to hook you in and wonder what sort of trouble Isaiah and Erin are about to get themselves into. I was pleasantly surprised by reading the book and accredit that to talent of its writer. This series is an independent sleeper hit in the making if future issues can continue to be just as entertaining.
Review: Heavenly Blues #1
Writer: Ben Kahn
Artist: Bruno Hidalgo
Publisher: Scout Comics