Thursday, August 14, 2014
"Why are you guys dressed like space ninjas?"
For most people, playing with magic doesn't stretch far beyond grabbing a Ouija board and getting freaked out by the subsequent events. For others though, there's a real connection that manifests itself as abilities in an individual. Some use these abilities to communicate with the unknown, while others just use them to steal stuff. Hexed #1 from BOOM! Studios is a story that falls in the latter category. The issue is written by Michael Alan Nelson, illustrated by Dan Mora, colored by Gabriel Cassata and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.
Luci Jennifer Inacio Das Neves (most people just call her “Lucifer”) is a supernatural thief-for-hire, stealing wondrous objects from the dark denizens of the netherworld for her mentor/mother figure, Val Brisendine. She's very good at her career as well, until she gets into something of a tight spot during a heist. What follows is she accidentally unleashes a terrible evil from one of the paintings hanging in Val’s art gallery. Stopping it will require nothing short of most of her bag of tricks, including a trip into the darker side of the arts.
Thief/heist stories are always more successful when there's a fast pace to them. Nelson doesn't disappoint in this regard, as Hexed #1 picks up in the middle of a heist and doesn't really slow down from there. The action works in a way that also introduces the reader to all the major players; primarily, it provides a great outlet for Lucifer to really shine. She's a character who clearly isn't afraid of magic and the dark arts, which is evidenced through her decision-making and somewhat reckless abandon. The premise of the first issue blends together a healthy amount of intrigue as well, mixing together an art theft with elements of the aforementioned magic. Other characters play their roles in a way that really helps propel Lucifer to the forefront of the story, ensuring that the reader knows who to root for.
Illustratively, Hexed #1 feels very hip. Mora illustrates his characters with very sharp angles, giving them figures that cut well against the backgrounds. There's a certain nostalgic look to the character renderings that makes the book feel like it's from a different era, which works to the book's advantage. Cassata's coloring relies on extremely bold color choices that emphatically reinforces the action on that specific page, with many of the magic panels colored in a way that prompts them to feel as if they're leaping off of the page. There's a fevered kineticism to the action that helps the illustrations keep up with the rather fast pace of the story itself.
Hexed #1 is a first issue that opens up fast and doesn't really slow down. This allows it to cover a lot of ground in one issue and get the reader fully up to speed on many aspects of its universe, including the stakes of the world Lucifer inhabits. Nelson makes the first issue feel pretty ho hum until the end, where he mixes in a few twisting storylines that offer to take the book to some fun places. Mora's art is very concise and effective at conveying to the reader the action on page. Hexed #1 is quite interesting for a beginning and delves into some pretty mystical subjects to carry the plots and drive character choices.
Hexed #1 is in stores now with interiors below.