"Hexed #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Dan Mora
2015, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 11th, 2015
There is an ever growing amount of problems in young Lucifer's life. Her employer, Val Brisendine, lost her gallery and with it a number of supernatural artifacts that are now surging through the black market. Madame Cymbaline, the strange woman responsible for the destruction of said gallery, is collecting some of these items for some nefarious reasons. A pair of psychotic thieves capable of blowing up people's heads are out causing a ruckus. Oh, and Lucifer is still destined to replace the Harlot due to a hex placed on her years ago.
Despite the odds stacked against her, Lucifer heads out into the world with confidence. She's stuck between a rock and a hard place, forced to choose between two horrible futures. There's no easy way out of this, but that doesn't mean that she's not going to fight her ass off. There's a brief moment where Lucifer is trying to put everything together and really decide what to do next. In a surprising move, it's the intern that has a quick heart-to-heart with Lucifer to help put things in perspective.
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The relationship between these two characters has been very fun to watch. At first it was purely antagonistic. Lucifer barely acknowledged the intern as a person, so much so, that I don't even remember the intern's real name. Lucifer has begun teaching her and bringing her along like an apprentice thief. She still treats the girl like a kid sister at best, but the intern is definitely growing on her.
I'm never going to get used to Madame Cymbaline. She's unsettling, walking arm-in-arm with an interchangeable man used as little more than a voicebox as she doesn't speak on her own. Although the artwork is focused on her and rarely the man next to her, the speech bubbles don't face her. You know the dialogue is coming from her and artist Dan Mora conveys so much of this in the expressions seen on her face, even though most of it is covered by a mask. There's coldness in her eyes. She's used to getting her way, so when Lucifer doesn't fall in line, Madame Cymbaline gets very angry very quickly.
There's an energy to Mora's artwork. It feels like it's constantly moving, making for a great action comic. This is the closest you're going to get to a popcorn, blockbuster movie in comic book form. I found myself flying through the fight scenes because of how fast they felt, but then I had to go back and re-read them to really savor the details that are packed within in panel. It just looks so damn good.
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This issue of Hexed built to a moment that was near perfect in its simplicity and emotional magnitude. By the time you realize where it's going, it's too late to turn away. You're pulled in and all you can do is hope that it's not true. Writer Michael Alan Nelson filled the preceding pages with a sense of foreboding mixed with the small triumph of a well fought battle. The images are juxtaposed with the dialogue very well, building to a final page that is an incredible piece of work. The final four panels replicate the same basic setup to great effect to really hammer home the power of the scene.
Hexed has easily become one of my favorite titles. Lucifer is a strong female lead that rivals the likes of Buffy and Wonder Woman. She's that good. The comic is packed with a rich and seemingly never-ending mythology that only serves to amplify the possibilities for future stories.