Review: Hellbound #1

I’ll be up front that I’m not a fan of 3-D modeling used for comic books. I’ve seen a few that have worked, but for the most part it ends up looking stiff and separated. Hellbound has a bit of real art, but for the most part it’s 3-D modeling. It’s not terrible as a lot of care and time has been put into the art with filters and as much detail as possible, but in the end it makes the story come across like a Playstation one video game. The story begins with a man waking up in the desert. He seems fine for the most part, but his body has collapsed the ground around his outline like that of a caulk outline at a crime scene. He pulls out a tooth, picks up the notebook and pen that’s by him and begins looking for signs of humanity. Eventually he finds a diner that’s completely empty and no signs of food or water inside. He hears something in the back and when he checks it out he finds two people strung up like meat at a slaughter house and still alive. The butcher comes back around this time and a fight breaks out.

There’s some side story about two police detectives looking for a serial killer and checking out his latest victim a decapitated woman.

The story had a decent narrative. I don’t know how much of it really played to the visuals on the page and often times it felt as if it was talking about another world. The story attempts to be weird and mysterious, but it’s just that… it’s trying. At one point the main character finds a woman just sitting in the desert and he forces her to go with him by barking orders. Clearly there’s something not right with the woman and soon enough they approach the house shown on the cover and she disappears. I know that I was supposed to wonder where she went, but I didn’t. Her hair had the same texture as the smoke so I assume she was an extension of the house. Why did he care though? That was the biggest problem with the story is that it was never interesting enough to make you care about the characters actions.

Hellbound #1-1The art makes a good attempt, but it had opportunities within the story to pop and it didn’t. When the detectives are approaching the crime scene there’s a ton of build up to how gruesome of a scene it is. People are puking and the woman that found the body is in utter shock. Then the body is shown… it’s a woman in her underwear in a yoga position and her head is sitting in front of her. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to try a lot harder than that to shock me or really anyone that’s seen a horror movie in their life before. The meat hook scene was okay. Not exactly shocking, but a step in the right direction.

The other major dip in the art was at the house when the main character comically walks around the entire house looking for the woman. It looks like a cartoon with how he’s popping around corners. The proportions are off for the house as well. It never looks the same size and it’s very separated from the rest of the art with its texture.

It tries to be interesting I will give it that and clearly a lot of time was put into the art, but it doesn’t pan out in the end. The mystery is pretty clear, but it’s also so vague that you don’t have a reason to become invested in the story.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Joshua Yancey & Casey Wooden Artist: Joshua Yancey Website