Review - Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven #1 (@zenescope)

"The copper smell of spilled blood hangs in the air."

What every vampire hunter needs is a foe and a stake. In Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven #1 from Zenescope Entertainment, Van Helsing more of the former than the latter. The issue is written by Chuck Dixon, illustrated by Julius Abrera, colored by Maxflan Aravio and lettered by Sandra Temofonte.

Is an ancient weapon feared by every undead creature a myth or a reality? Liesel is willing to risk everything, her life included, to get her hands on the legendary blade that could bring an end to vampirism. Her quest takes her to a remote corner of India and beyond in an adventure that could bring her the vengeance she seeks- if it doesn't drive her mad first.

Dixon spends much of the issue following Van Helsing as she squares off against enumerable foes. Dixon's script is pretty straightforward in that regard, moving Van Helsing from place to place in a way that benefits the story. There are a few surprises as Van Helsing ventures through new territory and Dixon uses those surprises as a means of giving the reader something to look forward to. In fact, there are quite a few characters who show up that make things interesting for her. The end of the issue also sets up a decent cliffhanger for the series to progress from.

Abrera's illustrations are pretty solid. His linework is fairly intricate, rendering the characters in a way that emphasizes plenty of folds in clothing and wrinkles on skin. Van Helsing herself is drawn in a way that makes it perfectly believable that she's as well-traveled as she is. Abrera also ventures into gore territory quite a bit without being overtly graphic. Aravio's colors are bold, relying primarily on reds and blacks throughout the issue.

Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven #1 is a pretty ho-hum first issue that throws Van Helsing into the thick of it. Van Helsing knows how to handle herself in the midst of any situation. Dixon has a good grasp of the character as well in tapping into her combat prowess and savviness in general. Abrera's illustrations are good for what they set out to accomplish. Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven #1 is worth a read for those invested in the latest take on the character.

Van Helsing: Sword of Heaven #1 is available November 7.