Writer: Ian Edington
Artists: Steve Pugh, Dan Jackson (colors)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
A journey. A finding. A betrayal. Nothing out of the ordinary there, is it? Just your run of the mill comic (or for that matter any entertainment and/or literary medium) plotline, even more so if you read the previous issue of this series. Having gotten together in the first issue, our heroes undertake their epic journey: find the all important book they are sent after, only to end up having one of their own betraying them. A pretty straightforward story. However, just as with the issues before it (#0, #1), writer Ian Edington gives enough personality to this plot and the characters in it (thanks to the art team of Steve Pugh and Dan Jackson complementing him) that the final product is a polished, tight knit and fast paced one.
With the prelude to the journey already dealt with, this installment of Hellgate: London kicks off with a quick "Excerpt from the Cromwell Chronicles." A big fan of such quickie catch-ups, I for one liked this opener. Not only does it do away with having to go back to brush up on any forgotten events/details, its "official" format also sets the table for a proper snappy (and maybe even humorous) beginning, which is exactly what we get with the first spoken words here. The three characters (Commander Jessica Sumerisle, Seeker Crowe and Captain Saul Petrus) get along about as well as expected by any member of their respective sects (Templars, Cabalists and Demon Hunters). However, while the easy camaraderie that Jessica and Saul fall into is expected given the relative close nature of what they are (basically, "physical" soldiers), the friction between Saul and Seeker is in equal parts of the inherent distrust that the Demon Hunters have towards the Cabalists as it is because of their own personalities. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, it does make for some good humor, something which gets played up even during (and after) the fight scene. As for who, or rather what, the trio battle against? What else but the latest of "in vogue" villainous cannon-fodder: zombies.
The zombies done away (with a rather nifty solution from Seeker), the rest of the journey is pretty uneventful, right until the aforementioned betrayal. Even though I won’t spoil the identity of the traitor, I will say this: in the aftermath of the events here I revisited the last issue and now see a certain part (panel) in a new light.
Conclusion: It just might be an honest mistake, a slipup, but the last panel has "To Be Concluded!" plastered at its bottom right corner. I was under the impression that this is a four part mini (not including #0). So shouldn’t there be a "Continued" in place of the "Concluded" here?
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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