"Belle: Beast Hunter #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Dave Franchini
Illustrated by Bong Dazo
Colored by Juan Manuel Rodriguez
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 21st, 2018
Belle was kicking monster ass and taking names until her base was destroyed. Now she's fighting for her life as a literal sea monster attacks her. Things could be better. Fortunately, she's a trained warrior and she's not going down easy.
Where the first issue of Belle: Beast Hunter sets up the character and this world, this chapter is wall-to-wall action. Belle is fighting on land and in water. I'm sure if given the opportunity, she'd do it in the air too. She doesn't stop because she can't. If she does, she'd be eaten alive, either by the kraken that's tearing the building apart or the smaller creatures roaming the shores.
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I want to focus on these smaller monsters because, holy crap, are they creepy. Artist Bong Dazo designed these dinosaur-esque beasts made of teeth, tentacles, and reptilian skin. There are so many teeth. At one point, Belle is inches away from being eaten and she's literally surrounded by rows and rows of fangs. It's almost suffocating. You can imagine the monster's sour breath on her as she lifts up her ax with all her might.
While this issue is packed with action, it's actually split into two different scenes. There's the present and then a dream sequence of sorts. The transition is a little shaky and it's confusing at first. It does provide some insight into Belle's background and her civilian life, which we haven't seen up until now. She can't enjoy a nice stroll with a friend without being attacked by a gorgon.
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Here is where Dazo excels once again. The gorgon is already a creepy monster, but this is some next-level stuff. It's massive in size, capable of wrapping its long body around Belle and strangling the life out of her. Then there's the array of snakes from its head, each one looking vicious on its own, not to mention the razor sharp teeth (More teeth!) and clawed hands. This is a terrifying creation.
Belle's introduction is enough to get a good understanding of the character and pull you in. We get a glimpse of what she's truly capable of here, especially since all of her bells and whistles have been stripped away. Belle: Beast Hunter is a great addition to Zenescope's line of female adventurers, such as Robyn Hood and Van Helsing. You have to admire a woman who can wield an ax like this.