"Hexed #12" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Dan Mora
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 19th, 2015
Lucifer's journey has not been an easy one. She had a good setup working for Val Brisendine stealing supernatural artifacts to keep them out of the hands of evildoers. Things got complicated when Val was murdered, sending Lucifer into a rage that ended with her embracing her destiny and replacing the Harlot as the new Keeper of Secrets. Val's killer, Madame Cymbaline, has tracked Lucifer (now called The Thief) down in The Aether, and now the two are squaring off in an epic final battle.
The one problem any Keeper of Secrets faces is that they know all secrets in the world except the one they want the most. The former bearer of the title, Fastrada, once known as The Harlot, is desperate to find out what happened to her daughter. Lucifer wants to bring Val back to life. That's the one piece of information that escapes her. The question becomes how far will she go to find it out?
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So much of Hexed has been about Lucifer and her finding herself. While she was comfortable being a thief, and more often than not, the smartest person in the room, there was something missing. Reading through her journey up until this point is fascinating and a brilliant character study. What's clear though is that Lucifer is always on her game. She may look like she's going through the ringer or that she might be going down for the count, but it's all part of the plan. She's five steps ahead of everyone else.
This point is perfectly illustrated by Dan Mora during the battle between Lucifer (as The Thief) and Madame Cymbaline. The former is on the ground, battered and bloody. The situation is grim. That's when she plays her trump card, throwing out the bait for her enemy in a perfect trap. The next panel is the same exact shot, but a familiar grin has spread across The Thief's face. Lucifer is still in there and she's got Madame Cymbaline right where she wants her. I absolutely love that panel. It is the perfect representation of this character.
Mora's artwork is nothing short of fantastic in Hexed. He pulls back to show the epic battle between these two powerful forces and then pulls in close to get emotional and personal shots of the characters. He has a real talent for facial expressions, telling so much about a person based on a simple look. There's one page towards the end where two characters go through worry, relief, anger, and determination. They're obviously not saying any of these things in the dialogue, but their faces are speaking volumes.
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There is a sense of closure that permeates through the entire issue. Lucifer finally embraces her destiny to become the Keeper of Secrets. The intern steps up in a huge way and helps Lucifer right when she needs it the most, perhaps to her chagrin. Madame Cymbaline meets a fate that is rather fitting for her given the chaos she's spread in her life.
I'm so sad that Hexed is ending, but it could not have gone out in a more spectacular fashion. It ends not with a bang or a whimper, but with a smirk and a knowing nod. In many ways, Hexed is the spiritual successor to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It takes a strong female character, surrounds her with an interesting supporting cast, and throws her into some hellish situations that she must overcome. It makes for a great read and one that I hope returns someday.