By Dustin Cabeal
Hellchild reminded me a little of BOOM!’s Lucifer series, but with a Wolverine movie twist to it. I didn’t read the first Hellchild series, and frankly, you don’t need to have read this new series. There’s a nifty full page recap in the middle of the comic that gives you all the details about Hellchild which is a good thing since readers will walk away with knowledge about the character that’s not presented in the comic.
The recap divides the book in two. The first part is a guy feeding and then beating a homeless man only to cart him back to a building where he has a big ass python feeding on people. He doesn’t want the snake to go hungry because he has eight bodies for this thing munch on. Then the book sets up Hellchild’s story as we follow a mystery woman as she enters an underground fight club. Hellchild is the reigning champ, and everyone hates her because he kills her opponents too quickly. They call the previous champ to beat her… the book is called “Hellchild” not “Previous Fight Club Champ” so you can figure out how the fight ends. Eventually, the woman that went into the club offers Hellchild a job.
The writing isn’t bad. Pat Shand gives details about this current arc while also presenting some entertaining fights. It’s all a little too safe at times and could have gone gorier. That and Hellchild narrates at one point and feels the need to mention that even though she’s feeding off a junkie he’s okay, he’ll live, and he’ll likely be cured of his addiction problems. I didn’t need this explanation, nor did I care what happened to the junkie. She’s a vampire and the daughter of Hades, and I just watched her tear monsters heads off… I’m going to assume she doesn’t have much regard for life and so I didn’t need her to have a conscious all the sudden for the junkie.
Renzo Rodriguez’s art is good but inconsistent at times. The scenes, in the beginning, look rushed and lack detail. The serial killer’s design isn’t nearly as distinct as some of the throwaway characters in the issue, but then all that changes when we get to Hellchild’s story. Then the linework becomes very detailed, the designs memorable and the overall look of the book improves. If it weren't for that beginning, I would have loved Rodriguez’s art a lot more. That and again the story could have got gorier. There’s blood, there’s some guts, but just a couple of panels overall and it would have been nice to see more.
The first issue is definitely reader friendly, and it’s an entertaining read. I’ll be back for more and I wasn’t expecting that. This is the new face of Zenescope, and it’s good. They’re making sure the interior content is worth the cover price. I wish more publishers would do that. If you’re looking for some horror or just a woman that’s part vampire, part god, then try out Hellchild: The Unholy.
Hellchild: The Unholy #1
Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Renzo Rodriguez
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment