"Heavenly Blues #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scout Comics
Written by Ben Kahn
Illustrated by Bruno Hidalgo
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 15th, 2017
A group of damned souls has managed to sneak out of Hell and break into Heaven. Now they're planning a heist up there to steal something in exchange for permanent residency. Eternity in paradise awaits them if they can just pull off this one last job.
While the first few issues of Heavenly Blues involve getting the group together and breaking them out of Hell, this one gets down to business right away. They're doing necessary recon work to understand guard patterns to best plan out the heist. Isiah is in total control of this situation, staying one step ahead of not only the angels, but their mysterious benefactor too. This series has been pitched as “Ocean's 11 in Hell.” If that's the case, Isiah is George Clooney's character.
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Artist Bruno Hidalgo turns a quiet scouting mission into a pulse-pounding action sequence. Hideki, the samurai, steadily creeps through the Palace of Uriel searching for some information to help them on this mission. You can cut the tension with a knife as he lurks in the shadows.
When he's spotted, the action ramps up exponentially. Hidalgo has a real talent for action. His pencils have an energy to them, like they're moving on the page. Hideki delivers a powerful kick that will practically knock the comic out of your hands. This is followed by a brilliant shot of him jumping out a window, glass shattering everywhere around him. It is all excellently framed.
I would have been satisfied with further steps of the heist, however I was pleased to see some great character development moments sprinkled in. Writer Ben Kahn takes time to continue to flesh out Isiah and Erin. They make a great team and work to prop each other up when needed. We're reminded that Erin is still a kid. She was a teenager in Hell, stuck forever in that body despite having lived for centuries in the afterlife. Think of how awkward and uncomfortable you were as a teenager. Now imagine living that way for eternity. Also, you're in Hell.
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Although Hell is a pretty horrible place, Heaven doesn't look that much better. There are definitely some shady things going on up there. The angels aren't all what they seem. They're almost militaristic, controlling everything and making sure everyone stays in their place, similar to how they appear in Supernatural.
Each issue of Heavenly Blues provides a glimpse into the past of one of the main characters. This one focuses on Amunet, who becomes a major player in the robbery. Her backstory is abbreviated but perhaps the most important of the bunch. I like that more time is spent in the present than the past, especially as we get closer to the actual heist.
I have no idea how this whole plan will go down, but I cannot wait to see it play out. Heavenly Blues has been building up with each issue and this one is no different. This chapter reveals what they're actually stealing and it is a real game changer. It raises the stakes considerably. Plus, the team meets who they're stealing from and he's far scarier than Andy Garcia. Man, this is a fun comic.