"Hexed #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Dan Mora
2014, 24 Pages
Comic released on August 13th, 2014
You can't keep a good thief down. Lucifer definitely fits in that category. After narrowly escaping all kinds of trouble in the original Hexed mini-series, she's back for more mischief in a new ongoing comic. She's still working for gallery owner Val, stealing supernatural items to keep them out of the hands of those that would abuse them. After picking up a binding frame from a local museum, things get a little out of hand when the security guard has a heart attack. Lucifer traps him in the painting, but when she goes to release him and save his life, something else comes out too.
Creator / writer Michael Alan Nelson wastes no time getting to the action with Hexed. He provides enough background so that new readers won't feel lost, but it doesn't feel like a bunch of exposition to get everyone up to speed. (Please note, you should definitely read the original mini-series as it's quite good.) The issue opens with Lucifer stealing the frame after outsmarting a bunch of thugs out to take it themselves. You immediately get a sense of what you're in for with her quick-witted replies and fast thinking, not to mention a bag of supernatural tricks.
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Hexed is a fun read because Lucifer is a great character. She has a rough road ahead of her as the Keeper of Secrets known as the Harlot has marked her. One day Lucifer will free the Harlot and replace her in this role. It's not a future she's looking forward to, but it doesn't get her down. She seems to be enjoying life and confronting all sorts of evil with a smirk on her face. She could have easily wallowed in this dark destiny that looms ahead of her, but instead she focuses on the here and now, and the comic is better for it. It doesn't hurt that she's a total badass.
Nelson adds elements of the supernatural world that I have not seen explored before. I honestly don't know if any of them are real or if he made them up for Hexed. Lucifer isn't battling vampires and werewolves. Instead, there's something far scarier at work. Madame Cymbaline, the occult mob boss that Luficer made a deal with in the original series, gets a bit more time on the page this time around, and she's terrifying. It's not clear as to exactly what she is, but it's clear she's capable of a massive amount of bloodshed. She didn't get to where she is today by being a nice person.
Dan Mora adds to the fun in Hexed with his artwork. You fall in love with Lucifer from the first moment she appears on the page. She looks like the kind of girl that you'd love to talk to but are scared to approach. She's tough but beautiful, confident yet fragile. She's dressed in simple jeans and a sweatshirt with a pair of high top sneakers. Mora adds little things to her design that say so much about her character, such as the wink she gives Val's intern before she dives into the painting or the knowing look she gives the Harlot before she does something drastic.
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Speaking of the Harlot, I thought that artist Emma Rios had a creepy design for her in the original mini-series, but Mora brings a new level to it. Rios provided the main cover for this issue, which shows the terrifying look of the Harlot in all its glory. Mora has a different approach to the character. Her limbs are still distorted and unnatural, but she looks like a cracked-out madwoman. The first time you see her, she's holding a bouquet of irises...only they're the kind that are in eyeballs, not the flower. PUN! Mora's design conveys both the creepy as well as the all-knowing look that is needed for the Keeper of Secrets.
Lucifer is like the power and determination of Buffy mixed with the sheer badassery of Faith, and wrapped in all-around cool. I like to think Hexed takes place in the same world as the vampire slayers, but she deals in the shady back alleys that the Chosen One would never venture within. Although she has no real reason to be a hero, she does what's right no matter the cost, and she does it with a smile on her face.