Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrator: Dan Mora
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Michael Alan Nelson first introduced us to Luci Jennifer Inagcio Das Neves in 2008 with Hexed: The Devil I Know. Going by the name Lucifer, she is a thief that has a penchant for the occult. The first issue in the mini-series was released in October 2008. Hexed was critically acclaimed and became a fan favorite. Looking back it’s not surprising, given the popularity of other books that Nelson has written. Now a few years later he has revisited the world and characters he created in Hexed.
Nelson reveals a lot in this first issue, and it’s a great set up. We know the key players. They’re all interconnected and serve a purpose. There’s one character in particular that intrigues me. She’s referred to as The Harlot. Her appearance and demeanor reminds me of the “other mother” in the movie Coraline. There’s something sinister about her that makes me question her actions. While she’s not the main character, she plays a very important part in Lucifer’s life.
In an attempt to intercept a frame from being stolen and placed into the wrong hands, Lucifer finds herself in a bit of trouble. Actions that would have led to her getting away successfully ended up causing a few more problems. After saving a life, she must now find a way to save an acquaintance whose life is hanging in the balance. It all sounds easy enough, except she also has to stop an escaped prisoner from reaching the masses.
At it’s core, this sounds like a mundane story that should be easy to wrap up. There’s a catch, though: Nelson didn’t create just any thief; he created one tied to the occult with supernatural abilities. This aspect of Lucifer’s life will draw you further into the story. My question is who are the real villains in this story? Are there any true heroes? Based on what Nelson has revealed, I think it’s complicated. While I don’t think Lucifer is inherently evil, I wouldn’t claim she’s good either. It’s apparent that she has some morals despite some of the questionable actions.
Dan Mora’s art with Gabriel Cassata’s coloring sets the mood for this story. The colors are vibrant, and the effects are visually striking. There are a few panels with graphic images, but they serve a purpose within the context of Nelson’s writing. The characters are expressive despite minimal line work. The Harlot’s smile is reminiscent of The Joker. It’s fitting of such a twisted character. Moments when Lucifer is involved with the supernatural are highlighted with warm tones. I find this to be fitting since most people, upon hearing that her name is Lucifer would immediately associate her with the fiery pits of Hell. It’s effective in creating a contrast when there is a lot of activity in a panel or on a page. It also sets her apart from her opposition in the story.
This is my type of story. Nelson is known for his horror writing and it’s prevalent in “Hexed #1″ along with a little bit of gore. Despite that I did find myself laughing at a few panels involving Lucifer and an intern. The combination between the art and the text in these panels were executed perfectly. It acknowledges how crazy some of these events seem to those that aren’t exposed to the occult in their daily life. While I’m sure this book will be picked up by fans of the mini-series, I have no doubt this will attract some new readers. And Nelson leaves us with a cliff hanger that’s enough to make me want to go back for more.
“Hexed #1” earns 9 / 10