Now that is creepy…  More please.

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There really aren’t enough good titles covering the various supernatural realms.  Sandman concluded years ago, as did Preacher, and while Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to rock, Shadowpact got the axe.  Cthulhu Tales delivers the chilling supernatural sure to give the reader nightmares, but when it comes to supernatural thriller crime stories, the cupboard is pretty bare.  So, when Boom! Studios sent me an advanced copy of Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson with art by Emma Rios, I knew it was worth checking out, even if I am generally wary of titles I know nothing about.

Here then, is your advanced review of Boom! Studios Hexed #1.

Hexed_01_Cover_A.jpgLuci Neves, or Lucifer as she likes to be called, is not your typical everyday kind of girl.  Instead of spending her days at the shopping mall, or giggling it up with her friends, Luci spends her time as a work for hire thief.  Lucifer’s not your run of the mill boost’em and sell’em for a fast buck thief, oh no.  She’s someone who steals items of magical nature, selling them to high paying clients.

If you are going to relieve someone of their magical goods, there’s a good chance those items are protect by even more powerful majiks.  And from what we see in this first issue, she is more than prepared to deal with any kind of beastie or magical block in her way.

Until it all comes crashing down.

Hexed_01_04.jpgHexed_01_03.jpgWhen a disgruntled past employer makes his return, the heroine must accept a most dangerous job if she’s going to protect those close to her.  And we learn about a mysterious hex placed on Luci, that has her not acting like she used to.

Michael Alan Nelson’s story is an interesting one, that I can only describe as a cross between Hellblazer and The Thomas Crown Affair, with a little bit of It’s a Wonderful Life thrown in to make you smile.  While we’ve seen the premise before, I like Nelson’s twist.  The pacing for the first issue hits the beats at the right places without dragging, or going so fast it leaves readers scratching their heads wondering what happened.  There is an appropriate amount of mystery and action to make this a page turner, and while I don’t think every question needs to be answered in this mini-series, an appropriate amount of backstory needs to be offered up before the series concludes.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bares repeating; I generally don’t pay attention to who writes an issue until after I’ve read it and had time to process the information.  When I got to the last page of Hexed #1, I got to thinking about other titles I’ve read lately that feature a unique doorway to other dimensions, and a quick dig into the growing tall pile waiting to be catalogued revealed Michael Alan Nelson is also the mind behind Cthulhu Tales #5 that featured a character who was tasked with keeping the nasties from coming through magical doorways.  The revelation makes me wonder if Nelson has a thing for doors or something…  Regardless, it was a nice surprise to discover the connection between Hexed and one of my favorite titles from Boom! Studios.

As far as the art goes, Rios delivers something that appears to be a mash up of very different styles.  You will see influences from European comics with a hint of manga and American styles thrown in for good taste.  From what I’ve gathered, Emma is fairly new to comics, and if she is able to deliver this quality of art every issue, she’s one to keep on your rising star watch list.

Hexed_01_Cover_B.jpgEven though Emma Rios’ pencils rock, it’s the color scheme that brings the world of Hexed to life.  Cris Peter is able to contrast the normal world with magical elements using colors that make these items pop off the page, letting us know we are treading into a very different realm.

Emma Rios created the main cover, and offering up the alternate cover to the issue is Joe Pekar, a personal favorite of mine. The way he draws people make you want to seek out snatch up all his other works.  If you are familiar with his work, you know his cover won’t stay on the store shelves for very long.

This is a fantastic first issue.  There’s a great team in Michael Alan Nelson, Emma Rios, and Cris Peter that is apparent from the opening pages all the way to the squeamish cliffhanger that is nothing like I’ve ever seen before.  The writing is good, the characters are interesting, and I really like the supernatural thriller take on the story.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the coming installments, and if the remaining issues are as good as the first, Boom! Studios has another hit on its hands.  Hexed #1 arrives in stores in December, and gets a well deserved 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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