Review - Hellcity #1

Everyone knows that feeling of working day in and day out, putting up with all manner of things from the subway ride to work, people on the streets looking to make your day worse and even the job itself. Now imagine doing that same life, just instead of being in perhaps New York City, you find yourself in Hell having to deal with a whole new level of troubles from demons playing pranks, ruining any possessions you might have to even taking craps on the street.

They are all there to do anything and everything basically to ruin your day and make the rest of your existence an unpleasant time. Brought to you by Gigantic Graphic Novels, Hellcity takes on this possible life after death situation in a slightly comical, yet involving, tale of one man’s journey to find worth again. Or at least get a better apartment in Hell.

The story focuses on a man that, while alive, had a functioning life going for him with a job as a detective who enjoyed the thrill of the chase and catching his suspect. Of course tragedy would strike with his wife gunned down by (oddly enough) a man dressed as a vampire, perhaps foreshadowing things to come, leading the main character Bill to take his own life. This lands him in his own personal slice of hell to deal with for the rest of eternity and some of the worst sort of torture you could think of as well. For starters he is forced to go see a therapist that shows Bill all the bad things he did and the death of his wife and suicide making him relive it.

Forced to work in a place called the Piggery cooking bacon, his life is a pretty damn shitty one as throughout the entire day demons are playing pranks on people. One hilarious one is a little kid demon walking along the subway smacking people in the face with a fish freaking...classic. The train itself is a little messed up as well, being a demon train that messes with people by stopping short to jolt everyone and slamming the doors closed on people making eternity annoying.

On top of all that they stick you in an apartment with a demon where it seems their entire job is to make life at home miserable by destroying anything you might have and doing the most obnoxious things to make you go crazy. Anybody could just rip you apart over and over again, but to have an eternity of constant annoyances and aggravating behavior can really get under your skin. For instance Bill’s roommate likes to deface a picture of his wife and ruin a tape of her favorite songs, leaving Bill to replace them constantly.

Although it looks like Bill’s luck might be changing as he gets a visitor at his apartment and from the looks of her she is a succubus. She tells Bill more about where he could be relocated to a much better place than the shithole he’s in now. We also get to learn a bit more about her as she works for the Executive Office and it’s a mission that involves following the freaking Devil as he has been exhibiting some suspicious behavior. She wants Bill to find the root cause for this strange behavior and figure out a solution to what’s going on. Here’s a taste of that odd behavior as we see a press conference going on about an anarchist cult that is terrorizing hell and the Devil reads them a poem in response to a question he was asked.

You gotta love a comic that has a crisis meeting scene in it with demons and all sorts of different creatures talking about what they have to do about the Devil. I laughed reading the exchanges between them all, with even the idea of putting the Devil’s head on a pike on display was floated around. Mostly it’s a lot of talk and no real apparent choice of action to be taken, but it’s all for nothing as the Devil just strolls into the room and sits himself down, smiling at them all.

This story has been great so far and this book isn’t even halfway through yet as Bill gets himself prepped for the job to tail the Devil and even gets a sweet government car. Going so far as to pick up some supplies at what looks like a spy store by buying some lemon lens glasses and grabbing a camera to spy on the devil from a nearby hotel’s roof.

Bill learns that a link to Heaven exists between Hell and the Devil has a mission on his mind when he strolls into Heaventown, leaving burned footprints behind him. With the last frame of the comic we see the reasons for his odd behavior as he is not touched in the head, or lost his mind, but is in love with a woman in heaven. Damn fine way to end the first part and it was a great read. I really can’t wait for the next one to come out.