By Jonathan Edwards
Back when Helena Crash #1 came out, I seem to recall it being listed as the first of five issues. It appears that, somewhere along the line, that changed, and it's now only a four-issue limited series. Honestly, it's a bit disappointing, because after this one, I want more that just one final issue. The charm of Helena Crash has slowly but surely won me over. Not that it was met with much, if any, resistance along the way. It's a good book with an interesting enough premise and a world comprised of colorful characters (both literally and metaphorically). It may be a relatively quick read, but it's a solid good time too.
We hit the ground running with Helena up against White Demon's henchmen and then eventually White Demon herself. What I really like about this sequence is Helena's reluctance to fight anymore than she has to. It's simple, but having her acknowledge that, as skilled as she is, her fighting capabilities will only get her so far does a lot in terms of keeping the character grounded and relatable. Not to mention, it feels right at home with her professional aversion to taking sides in a conflict, and it perhaps somewhat develops and informs some of why that might be. Helena knows she's good, and that's enough for her. It's not worth it to fight to be the "best" so long as she can live and work in relative comfort.
Additionally, I'm really glad to see Hemingway get some of his own agency this time around and not solely exist as a plot point and foil for Helena. It's been something of a nagging concern I've had, and as soon as Helena left and there was another knock at his door, I was prepared to see it confirmed. And then, it wasn't. I mean, I guess it kind of was, but the sequence played out differently than I thought it would. Another simple execution of character that does quite a bit in terms of ensuring the story beats land and work correctly.
Now, it did take me a little bit of time to fully jibe with Warwick Johnson Cadwell's art, but I did finally profess my fondness for it in my review of the previous issue. And, that is still very much the case here. Helena and White Demon's fight stands out as particularly strong with its use of parallel panels, kinetic action, and weighty hits. And by the end of it, White Demon feels a lot creepier and menacing than her previous depictions which painted her as a more cool and collected type. It's an interesting juxtaposition to be sure.
Y'know, it's funny. I always end up feeling like my reviews for Helena Crash are on the light and simple side. But then I remember, that's kind of what the book itself is. It's a fun, engaging little romp that doesn't make you think to hard but is also far from brainless. Helena Crash knows what it is, wants you to know what it is, and wants you to enjoy it for what it is. Personally, I do, and if you haven't already, I think it's worth checking out to see if you do too.
Helena Crash #3